Poland, US Move Closer on Missile Shield

Countries agree, in principle, on military cooperation plan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2008 9:33 AM CST
Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, right, gestures during a joint news conference with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Friday, Feb. 1, 2008, at the State Department in Washington Friday....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Poland agreed, in principle, yesterday to host controversial US missile interceptors on its soil, the AP reports, after Condoleezza Rice sat down with Poland's foreign minister and agreed to help upgrade its military in return. The foreign minister told reporters in Washington that there was still a lot of negotiating to do, but he was satisfied that the Poles' needs would be met.

The deal gives new momentum to the Bush administration's stalled missile defense system in Eastern Europe and is sure to draw renewed opposition from Russia.
Rice was at pains to reiterate that the missile shield is aimed to protect against a nuclear threat from rogue states such as Iran, not Russia, and is not a descendant of the Star Wars program of the '80s. "This is not that program," she said. "This is not the son of that program. This is not the grandson of that program."