Monday, 23 February 2009

European Missile Defence Slow Down

The Polish and Czech supporters of European BMD deployments were right to be worried. As reported earlier, Defense Secretary gates met with them and let them know that missile defence deployments in Europe are on the back-burner. Here's the transcript from his press availability on the subject:

Q (Off mike) -- Report. Mr. Secretary, ... The second thing is this casts the issue -- the subject of a missile defense project and the new attitudes of the American government towards this subject, and what could you explain about it? Is America going to continue the project in Poland? And the third thing --

SEC. GATES: ... We did talk about missile defense in my talks with Prime Minister Tusk and Defense Minister Klich. I basically told them that we needed some time for this administration to review the plans for the third site, to look at it in the context of our relationship with both Poland and the Czech Republic, our relationship with the NATO alliance, the commitments we have made as members of the alliance in terms of European missile defense, and also in the context of our relationship with the Russians. And we need to look at all of that, and I simply asked the Polish leaders for a little time for the administration to be able to do that.

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