Polish officials are downplaying reports that they have reached
agreement with the U.S. on plans to base part of an American missile
shield in Poland.
U.S. officials said Wednesday they have
reached a tentative deal on the plans. But Poland's defense minister,
Bogdan Klich, said Thursday that negotiations were still ongoing, and
that no firm agreement has been reached.
A Polish government spokesman issued a statement saying Prime Minister
Donald Tusk and U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney discussed the state of
negotiations for about 40 minutes by telephone Thursday evening. The
spokesman did not reveal any details.
Any agreement on the missile shield still will need final approval from the Polish government in Warsaw.
U.S. wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system
in the Czech Republic, as part of a system to counter missile attacks
from hostile states.
Russia has strongly opposed the plans as
a threat to its security, although the United States says the system is
intended for use against Iranian missiles, and not for use against
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.