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10 Jan, 2008 22:51

Missile defence may get Warsaw and Moscow back on track?

Missile defence was the focus of talks between Russia and Poland in Warsaw. U.S. plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland have soured relations between the two countries in recent months.

The U.S. has proposed placing its missile defence systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The three sides continue talks on the issue.

Moscow sees the U.S. plan as a threat to its national security and strongly opposes it.

Poland's new government with its Prime Minister Donald Tusk refused to put a timeline on a possible deal during talks with his Czech counterpart in Prague on Thursday.

Poland has pledged to consult Russia first.

The continuing U.S. negotiations with Poland recently hit a snag when Warsaw declared it does not see Iran as a danger.

Pavel Zolotarev from the USA and Canada Institute says Poland is not the country which will benefit.

“Elements of the American antimissile defense system in Poland will primarily defend the territory of the United States from a missile threat and not Poland,” Pavel Zolotarev said.

Meanwhile, the Czech Prime Minister says his country could finalize a deal on its part of the project as early as April.

The Czech government will submit to parliament a missile defence bill that includes a U.S. radar installation.

Tomas Klvana, the Spokesperson for the Czech government says the bilateral talks between the U.S. and the Czech Republic are still underway. Two treaties are being discussed.

“There are two treaties: one is on general co-operation in missile defence and the other one is on stationing of foreign forces on the Czech soil,” he said.   

Klvana said that only after the talks are concluded, they will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

“And we are emphasising that the system is not aimed against Russia but against threats from the Middle East,” he added.