Poland denies reports on decision to build US missile defence
( dpa ) - The Polish foreign ministry on Monday denied news reports that a decision to build the US missile defence system had been made.
Negotiations were continuing, and a decision remained open, Foreign Ministry spokesman Piotr Paszkowski told Polish IAR radio.
The denial came after a report by the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper that Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski last Thursday held a teleconference with a dozen advisors of all US presidential candidates.
All participants stressed the conference's "clear message," the paper said: "Poland will host the missile shield in exchange for US military aid."
According to one analyst involved in the meeting, Sikorski even indicated that an agreement could be reached by spring.
The US plans to deploy ten missile interceptors on Polish soil to counter possible attacks from countries like Iran. The Czech Republic is to host a tracking radar station.
Poland also considered to agree to a later delivery of Patriot missiles and co-financing the project, the paper said, quoting US participants. This represented a major change in Poland's position.
Poland's previous government under of Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski was in favour of a fast implementation of the project in order to strengthen US-Polish ties.
The current liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk however is seen as playing for time and in exchange for Poland's approval is seeking US military aid to modernize the country's air defence forces.