Russia has reacted angrily to the signing of a U.S. - Poland missile
defense agreement and has warned that Moscow's response to further
development of the system will go beyond diplomacy.
The Foreign Ministry in Moscow said the missile shield is one of the
instruments in an extremely dangerous set of U.S. military projects and
it will provide no protection against, what it called, an "imaginary
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Polish counterpart,
Radek Sikorski, signed the document in Warsaw Wednesday, one day after
Poland's cabinet formally approved it.
Under the agreement, 10 U.S. interceptor missiles will be placed in
Poland, while guidance radar will be installed in the Czech Republic.
Secretary Rice insisted that Russia has nothing to fear from the shield, saying missile defense is aimed at no one.
But Moscow rejects that reasoning and has said the deployment of the
system in Europe is designed to undermine Russia's own missile
capability and threatens its security.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said recently that ongoing conflict
between Russia and Georgia led the U.S. to agree to Polish demands for
greater military cooperation. Those demands include deployment of U.S.
Patriot air defense missiles in Poland.
The Czech government has agreed to accept radar stations for the system. The issue awaits debate in the Czech parliament.