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Poland to decide on missile shield after Oct. 21 election-paper

RIA Novosti

03/10/2007 17:50 MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - Poland will decide on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system after early parliamentary elections, set for October 21, a respected Polish daily said Wednesday.

"Negotiations [with the U.S. on missile defense] will continue for several months. We are making slow progress, but this is painstaking work," Dziennik quoted Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski as saying.

"There should be no haste or else Poland's negotiating position will be weakened," he said.

The paper cited unofficial sources as saying that Washington has slowed the pace of negotiations with Warsaw because it is reluctant to sign any agreements with a party that may lose power.

Moscow vehemently opposes Washington's plans to place a missile interceptor base in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic considering them a threat to Russia's national security. The United States says it needs better protection from rogue states like Iran and North Korea.

The two countries' top diplomats and defense officials will continue to discuss the issue, including Moscow's proposal that the U.S. use its radars instead, and Russia's moratorium on the Soviet-era Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty at talks on October 12.

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