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President Komorowski: Poland should forge ahead with missile shield

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 07.08.2012 09:12
President Bronislaw Komorowski has argued that Poland should forge ahead with a missile defence shield, regardless of American involvement in the project.

President Bronislaw Komorowski: photo - PAP/ Grzegorz Jakubowski

The Polish president outlined his thoughts in an interview marking the second anniversary of being sworn into office, revealing that he had already proposed the matter to the government.

“Our mistake was that by accepting the American offer of the shield, we did not take enough account of the political risks connected with a change of president,” Komorowski told Polish weekly Wprost.

“We paid a high political price for this,” he claimed.

“We cannot repeat that mistake,” he added.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski initially signed an agreement concerning the system with President George W. Bush's administration in Warsaw in August 2008.

However, with the election of Barack Obama, the deal was shelved.

Komorowski discussed the project with Republican hopeful Mitt Romney when the presumptive nominee for the US presidential elections visited Poland in late July.

However, Komorowski believes that even were an American system to be installed, it should be part of a general NATO system on Polish soil.

“We must have this element of Polish defence,” Komorowski stressed.

“In principle, the spending of vast amounts of money on military technology does not make sense, if it is not protected against the most typical and dangerous forms of attack – missile and aviation-related,” he said.

“Today we have an ageing system that is less and less well-suited to defending the country,” he argued.

The original missile defence system was championed by the US and Poland as a means of countering “rogue states” such as Iran.

However, Moscow opposed the project from the outset.

A Russian radar system at Kaliningrad, near the Polish border, has already been created with the task of monitoring developments.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," said General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of Russia's General Staff, on 3 May. (nh)

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