US Defence Secretary Robert Gates met with his Polish counterpart, Bogdan Klich, on Tuesday seeking to resolve differences over US plans to deploy a long-range missile-defence system to the Eastern European country.
US plans to install 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic appeared to be forging ahead last year, but the new Polish government under Prime Minister Donald Tusk has vowed to slow down the process and review the agreement announced by his predecessor a year ago.
Tusk's government want the United States to more thoroughly address Russian concerns about the planned deployment, and Klich has said the United States should also provide Poland with short-and medium-range missile defences like the Patriot and THAAD systems.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Gates and Klich met for more than an hour for talks that were "frank but productive."
"We believe that we can overcome whatever differences may exist on this issue very quickly," Morrell said.
The United States wants to base the system in the two countries to protect against Iran's growing ballistic missile capabilities, and Morrell said the system will do "more to benefit Europe and our allies there than it does for us."
The Pentagon hope to have the full interceptor deployment in place by 2013, but has run into renewed opposition in Poland and the Czech Republic as well as with long-standing Russian anger over the plans.
Russia believes a Eastern European deployment would threaten its nuclear arsenal and offset the strategic balance on the continent. Russian military commanders have raised the prospects of targeting the sites.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said the deployment is too small to pose any kind of a threat to the Russian fleet.
Klich and Gates also discussed Polish plans to pull its troops from Iraq later this year and shift its effort to Afghanistan, where NATO commanders have requested more troops.
Klich is also expected to attend meetings at the White House Wednesday with US officials from the National Security Council. ( Dpa )