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Polish PM Wants New US Security Guarantees on Missile Shield


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk says he wants extra security guarantees from the United States, before his government will agree to U.S. plans for a missile defense shield on Polish soil.

Mr. Tusk spoke Wednesday to reporters in Warsaw. He said the government of his predecessor did not gain assurances that the proposed missile deployment will increase Poland's security.

Under the U.S. plan -- which is strongly opposed by Russia -- 10 missile interceptors would be deployed in Poland, with missile guidance radar in the Czech Republic.

Mr. Tusk is set to visit Prague Thursday for talks on the U.S. plan with his Czech counterpart, Mirek Topolanek. Separately, Russia's deputy foreign minister is due in Warsaw Thursday for talks on the U.S. proposal, ahead of a meeting in Washington next week between Poland's defense minister and top U.S. officials.

The Bush administration says the proposed missile system will protect the United States and its European allies from missile attacks by Iran.

Moscow says the system will destabilize central and eastern Europe and lead to a new arms race.

The Czech government has voiced support for the radar deployment. But public opinion surveys in recent months have shown as much as 70 percent of the Czech population oppose Czech involvement in the U.S. plan.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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