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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » August 13, 2008
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U.S. Elections Prolong Missile Shield Talks
August 13, 2008   
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The American presidential elections in November may prolong talks between Poland and the United States on installing a U.S. anti-missile shield in this country, according to Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

"The presidential elections in the U.S. are always something of a watershed and it's fair to say that the talks might take a little longer," Tusk said on public television channel TVP Info Aug. 1.

Washington was hoping to have the talks wrapped up by the end of July. The Polish government, however, got the month off to a contentious start by rejecting the Americans' latest offer. Warsaw was demanding security guarantees, specifically that the U.S. permanently install Patriot missiles here.

Tusk also emphasized that Poland was not going to be shouldering any of the financial or legal burden of using the shield. "We're not going to be the ones who decide how the system is used, either regionally or globally, and we are still negotiating to secure provisions that would plainly state who is responsible for what," Tusk said.

Robert Tyszkiewicz, a member of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party and deputy chairman of the foreign affairs committee of Poland's lower house of parliament, said that it was possible that no agreement would be reached with the current administration of President George W. Bush. "The present administration probably won't be signing anything now that there's an election just round the corner," he said.
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