Obama Denies Commitment to Poland Missile Defense
Both sides confirm that Obama spoke to President Lech Kaczynski over the phone about continuing military and political cooperation between the two countries and possibly meeting in person soon,
Obama "had a good conversation with the Polish President and the Polish Prime Minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance," said Denis McDonough.
In a statement published on his website on Saturday, Poland's President Lech Kaczynski says Obama had "emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States, expressed hope in the continuation of political and military co-operation between the two countries and said that the missile defense project would continue."
When asked about the declaration, McDonough said that "President Kaczynski raised missile defense, but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign: that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable."
In the past, Obama has said he wants to review the plans for a missile defense system in central Europe to ensure it would be effective and not target Russia.
Russia strongly opposes the US program to locate 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and has announced plans to deploy missiles on Poland's border as a counter-measure.
In his first state of the nation address on Wednesday, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Moscow would neutralize the system by deploying short-range missiles in its western enclave of Kaliningrad on Poland's border.
On Friday, EU leaders said the decision would not contribute to creating a climate of confidence or to the improvement of security.
The US military has tried to appease Russia by stressing that the shield is incapable of destroying Russian rockets and the missile defense is intended solely to guard against missile attack and is directed at rogue states, such as Iran.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman reiterated Wednesday that the missiles were not aimed at Russia and are designed as a defensive shield for US allies in Europe. He said the shield is designed with the possibility of Iranian ballistic missiles in mind.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Obama also had a phone conversation and agreed to meet soon.
"During the discussion, both sides emphasized that relations between Russia and the USA are priority ones for both parties and that their positive development is crucial not only for the peoples of the two countries but also for the wider international community," a statement from the Kremlin announced.
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Jerry , it stinks !
Europe has not been able to recover surving two World Wars without very essential help from America ... I do not even say of the Marshall plan !
Newcomers from East Europe are very intolerant against Russia but at the same time their contribution to "the European business" is very meserable ... It is clear that the things like allocation of foreign military bases and different missile systems on their territories should give them more credits in the face of "the Old Europe" and Poland is not exception ...