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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » April 16, 2008
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'Nyet' to Russian Demand on Missiles
April 16, 2008   
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Russia wants permanent access to any U.S. missile installations deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic to ensure that no missiles are targeted at Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said April 8, but Warsaw quickly said the demand was unacceptable. Lavrov said that the presence of Russian officers at U.S. missile shield facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic had been the main topic of Russian-American talks on the issue.

The Kremlin opposes the missile shield project despite American assurances that neither the radar system in the Czech Republic nor the 10 interceptor missiles which may be deployed in Poland pose any threat to Russia. The United States has proposed that Russia be given a right of inspection as a peace offering on condition that Poland and the Czech Republic agree. Washington has also promised the system will not be activated unless there is a clear threat from Iran. The U.S. insists the missile shield is designed to protect them from a potential missile attack from Iran.

The Polish and Russian deputy foreign ministers met in Moscow April 8 to discuss problems of having parts of the U.S. missile shield, including interceptor missiles, installed in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia's demand for permanent access to U.S. installations is unacceptable to Poland according to Witold Waszczykowski, deputy foreign minister responsible for the missile shield.
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