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Warsaw still undecided on US missile shield: official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Warsaw, Jan 5, IRNA

Poland is still undecided on given its green light for the deployment of the US missile shield, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Saturday's edition of the Polish Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

"We haven't made a decision yet," he told the Gazeta Wyborcza.

Sikorski stressed his country did not feel militarily threatened by any Middle Eastern country.

However, if an important ally asked his country for help, the request would be taken seriously, added the minister.

The US plans to station 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar track site in the Czech Republic which Russia views as direct threat to its national security interests in the region.

Sikorski said negotiations could only be concluded if Washington made an offer which the Polish government could credibly present to the parliament (Sejm).

The Polish Parliament has to ratify such a military accord.

The predecessor government under former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski had strongly supported the US missile project.

According to Sikorski, Warsaw is engaged in talks with "all" US presidential candidates and is also weighing the political cost for approving the stationing of the American missiles.

"The worst situation would be for Poland to say 'yes', and then have to pay the political price, and afterwards the shield would not be built after all because of a change of government in the US," the foreign minister added.

He lamented that the US has yet to remove US concerns over the project despite its earlier assurances.

Therefore, Poland intended to enter into a direct dialogue with Moscow, Sikorski said.

Deteriorating ties with Russia would be a "high price" to pay, he added.

Poland and Russia are slated to hold first direct talks on the controversial US missile shield project on January 10, when Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak is to visit Warsaw.

Meanwhile, missile defense will also be on top of the agenda of Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich during a January 14 visit to Washington.


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