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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » January 16, 2008
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Poland, Russia At Odds on Missile Shield
January 16, 2008   
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Warsaw and Moscow are divided by a "fundamental difference of views" over the controversial American missile shield system, Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski said after what he described as difficult talks with Russia's deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislak in Poland Jan. 10.

Sikorski said both parties were frank while presenting their arguments. The United States wants to build launching pads for interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of its National Missile Defense system.

"This was the first meeting at such a high level devoted to the issue of the missile shield," the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The parties exchanged views, discussed the technical capabilities of the system and the reasons behind the stances of the two countries." Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski, the chief Polish negotiator on the missile shield, said that another round of Polish-Russian talks would take place within three months, coinciding with a visit by Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Russia. "The issue requires exchange of information and viewpoints by all interested parties in the region," said Tusk, who was in Prague while Kislak was in Poland. The missile shield was a major topic in Tusk's talks with Czech politicians.

The National Missile Defense system aims to protect the United States and its allies from attacks by countries such as Iran. Russia, however, objects to these plans and so far Russian-American talks have failed to produce a compromise.
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