News / Europe

US, Poland, Sign Revised Missile-Defense Accord

Secretary of State Clinton says revised program will make system operational sooner than one promoted by Bush administration, will pose no threat to Russia

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (file photo)

The United States and Poland Saturday signed an amended agreement under which U.S. missile interceptors, aimed against a developing Iranian threat, will be based on Polish soil. Secretary of State Clinton said the revised program will make a system operational sooner than one promoted by the Bush administration, and will pose no threat to Russia.

The Obama administration shelved a European missile defense plan devised by its predecessor that would have stationed missile interceptors, still under development, in Poland and a related radar system in the Czech Republic.

The amended agreement, signed in Krakow in an event witnessed by Secretary Clinton and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, will include the basing in Poland of U.S. "Standard-Three" interceptor missiles, a system already deployed on U.S. Navy ships and readily adaptable to ground basing.

Polish authorities were widely reported to have been unhappy with the withdrawal of the Bush administration plan, which had caused friction in Poland's relationship with Russia.

But at a press event Clinton after the signing ceremony, Polish Foreign Minister Sikorski said Warsaw is pleased with the amended plan.

"When President Obama announced the new configuration of the system, we did say that we liked the new configuration better. But I think you didn't believed us. Well, I hope now that we have signed the annex, I hope you do believe us, because it's based on existing technology and therefore it's more likely to be built and to be effective. And it is capable of protecting NATO, and Poland, and the United States of course, from a bigger range of threats," said Sikorski.

Clinton said the revised program will be operational years sooner than the one envisioned by the Bush administration, and unlike the predecessor has been fully embraced by NATO allies.

On continued Russian objections to U.S. missile defense in Europe on grounds it undermines Moscow's strategic deterrence,  Clinton said it is purely defensive and is neither directed against nor threatens Russia.

She said the United States hopes Moscow will eventually take part in a regional defense against what she termed a "common threat" posed by Iran, but said Russia to date has refused to cooperate.

"Russia has not accepted that offer but the offer stands. And the United States is beginning discussions with Russia to explore whether there are any circumstances the United States and Russia could work together on radar development and deployment, or any other aspect of missile defense. We welcome that. We've encouraged that. Thus far there has not been a willingness by Russia to respond positively. But the door is open," she said.

Clinton, on a five-nation trip to central Europe and the Caucasus region, attended events here marking the tenth anniversary of the Community of Democracies, a U.S.-Polish initiative.

In a policy speech, she stressed the importance of civil society and non-governmental organizations to democratic development. Clinton warned of what she termed a "steel vice" of restrictions against NGO's by some 50 countries around the world, including Zimbabwe, Cuba, Venezuela, Ethiopia and Belarus.

She completes the current trip with stops in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid