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  Tuesday, October 22, 2019
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Talks between Washington and Warsaw on the deployment of elements
Talks between Washington and Warsaw on the deployment of elements of a U.S. missile shield in Poland "may be prolonged" due to the upcoming U.S. presidential elections, the Polish premier said on Friday.

"...America is, as it does every four years, experiencing a big election show right now. This leads me to believe that the talks could be prolonged," Donald Tusk told Polish TV.

The U.S. plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic as part of a U.S. missile shield for Europe and North America against possible attacks from "rogue states," including Iran.

Tusk also said Poland does not intend to bear either the legal or financial responsibility for parts of interceptor missiles falling on third countries and causing damage of loss of life.

"This is one of the most important issues during the talks with Americans. Poland cannot bear financial responsibility for the use of the [U.S. missile defense] system elements, because the decision to launch an interceptor will not be made by us," he said.

Poland's prime minister said on July 4 his country was not satisfied with the terms offered by the U.S. for the deployment of a missile defense base on its soil, but was ready for further dialogue.

Tusk said then: "We need firm guarantees from Washington that the deployment of a missile defense base will enhance Poland's security," but that on this issue "we did not achieve a result that would be satisfactory to Poland."

In long-running negotiations with the U.S., Warsaw has been pushing Washington to spend billions of dollars improving Poland's air defenses in exchange for allowing the deployment of the interceptor missiles.

Moscow strongly opposes the possible deployment of the U.S. missile shield, viewing it as a threat to its national security. Russia's Foreign Ministry has said that if U.S. strategic missile defense elements are deployed near Russia's borders, Moscow would be forced to respond with a "military-technical approach" rather than a diplomatic one.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg signed an agreement in Prague on July 8 on the deployment of a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic.

The Czech-U.S. treaty has yet to be ratified by the Czech parliament or signed by the Czech president, however.


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