Bush pledges to modernize Polish forces
US President George W Bush said Monday the United States will help modernize Poland's military forces while forging ahead with plans to base a US missile defence system in the Eastern European country. ( dpa )
"There will be this modernization effort that takes place," Bush said at the White House after meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
Warsaw has insisted the United States upgrade the Polish military as part of the deal to deploy a long-range missile defence shield on Polish soil. US and Polish officials have been negotiating the best way to do that.
Poland wants Washington to provide short-and medium range systems.
The United States entered negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic more than a year ago to install the system. Poland would host up to 10 interceptor missiles while a radar tracking site would be installed in the Czech Republic.
"There's a commitment to a system that respects Polish sovereignty, that will ensure that the people of Poland will, you know, not be subjected to any undue security risks," Bush said, adding the systems is needed to deal with threats posed by Iran.
Russia has strongly opposed a US missile-defence system in Eastern Europe and has threatened to target the two countries if the plans proceed. Moscow is worried the system will weaken its nuclear deterrent, but Washington insists it is too small to compromise the Russian arsenal.