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Polish, Russian Officials Meet to Discuss Proposed US Shield


Polish and Russian officials have met for high-level talks on a U.S. plan to deploy part of a missile defense system in Poland. Separately, Czech authorities say legislation on their part of the project could be sent to parliament in months.

The United States wants to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and guidance radar in the Czech Republic, to defend against possible attacks from rogue governments or terrorists.

In Warsaw Thursday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak outlined Moscow's objections to the plan to top Polish officials.

The new Polish government appears cooler to the U.S. proposal than its predecessor. In Prague Thursday, visiting Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk refused to set a timetable for a deal.

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said a draft agreement on the guidance radar could be submitted to parliament for ratification after NATO's April summit in Bucharest.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced strong opposition to the plan, saying the U.S. deployment would destabilize central and eastern Europe and lead to a new arms race. Last year, he threatened to point Russian missiles at European targets for the first time since the end of the Cold War, if Europe backs the U.S. plan.

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

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