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11 Mar, 2008 04:56

U.S. cash convinces Poland to host shield

Poland has given the go-ahead for a U.S. a missile shield on its territory after Washington promised to pay for its military to be upgraded. The deal was reached during talks between Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and President George Bush in the U.S.

At the meeting, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk made his position clear; before agreeing to allow U.S. missile interceptors into Poland, the U.S. would need to give something in return.
“Both countries came to the conclusion that both the missile defence shield, the modernisation of the Polish forces, as well as the reinforcement of global security – which also influences the Polish security system – all these issues come in one package,” Polish PM Donald Tusk said.

The U.S. wants to locate elements of a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic. It plans to place ten missile interceptors on Polish soil.

Accroding to Washington, the missile shield will protect NATO and EU countries from attacks from states like Iran and North Korea.

Moscow is fiercely opposed to the shield, saying it threatens Russia’s defence.

Last month, the Czech PM Mirek Topolanek travelled to the U.S. to discuss the same issue. The Czech Republic is the proposed site for the system's radar.

The countries said they were close to striking a deal. But the Czech delegation said it would like to wait for Poland to approve the plan before making its move.