US, Poland make progress in missile shield talks, details remain

Other News Materials 23 July 2008 23:08 (UTC +04:00)

Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski met with US Assistant Secretary of State Stephen Mull Wednesday in the latest round of talks on Polish demands in exchange for a proposed American missile defence system based eastern Europe, dpa reported.

Their meeting came after a day of talks among four teams of experts, said US Embassy spokesman Andrew Schilling. For the past two months the teams have been analyzing the military threat to Poland, strategic options for defence, defence technology and financing.

"Today I think was our most productive session yet," Mull said. "We've completed work on a broad agreement on the threats and the needs that Poland has in modernizing its military, and now comes the hard work on specifics of working to develop the financing package necessary to go forward with this."

Sikorski's meeting with Stephen Mull follows his talks on Monday with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried. After that meeting, both sides said they had made progress in the long-standing negotiations to place 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk rejected the latest US offer on July 4. Since then, Sikorski has also met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The Czech government has agreed to host the planned system's radar, but after they signed the deal Russia threatened a military response if the plan went further.

Russia views the shield as a threat that would worsen security in Eastern Europe, but the US says the system is for protection against "rogue states," like Iran.