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  Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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The U.S. missile defense system in Europe is meant
The U.S. missile defense system in Europe is meant to deal with limited threats and cannot degrade the thousands of nuclear warheads Russia has, the U.S. secretary of state said.

Condoleezza Rice said the missile defense plan has nothing to do the strategic defense initiative (SDI) that "the United States once had."

"This is not that program. This is not the son of that program. This is not the grandson of that program. This is a very different program that is meant to deal with limited threats," she said at a press conference after a meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

"There is no way that a few interceptors in Poland and radars in the Czech Republic can degrade the thousands of nuclear warheads that the Russians have and there is no intent to do so," she said.

Rice said Russia and the United States are faced with the same threats, and cooperation in missile defense is vital for both "in a completely different environment."

"We are having discussions with the Russians that President Putin and President Bush have wanted to go ahead about how we can cooperate in missile defense because the Russians face some of the same threats; how can we talk about joint threat assessment, how can we talk about a system that would take advantage of the full geography so that we could have a way to counter these 21st century threats," she said.

Sikorski said Friday Warsaw and Washington had agreed in principle on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense base on Polish territory.

Poland is demanding security guarantees from the United States as part of a deal to install 10 interceptors in Poland at talks in the U.S. this week.

The U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic citing a threat from Iran. Russia has fiercely opposed the plans threatening to retarget nuclear missiles at the two countries.


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