US May Scrap Polish, Czech Missile Sites; Russia Pleased

Alternative sites in Turkey and the Balkans under consideration
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2009 5:47 AM CDT
A camouflaged hangar is seen from an open hangar in a shuttered air base in Redzikowo, the town in Poland that was a likely site for a proposed U.S. missile defense base, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
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(Newser) – The White House may drop sites in Poland and the Czech Republic where the Bush administration planned to build a billion-dollar missile defense shield, the New York Times reports. The alternative plans under consideration would please Russia and Germany but strain ties with Eastern Europe, where the Obama administration's review of the shield has unleashed anxiety and pessimism.

"Eastern Europe is out of the epicenter of this American administration," griped a Polish spokesman, while a Russian official greeted the change of course as hope of a "new world of Russian-American relations." Among the alternatives being mulled are missile sites in Turkey or the Balkans, seen as a better location for defending against Iranian missiles.