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BREAKING MILITARY 10:30am 8-20-08 Russia Angered: Poland Signs Missle-Shield Deal with U.S.
Wednesday, Aug 20, 2008 7:16pm
WARSAW, POLAND From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: MILITARY NEWS 10:30am 8-20-08  The giant bear is not happy with the latest efforts by the United States and Poland to shore up their missle defense systems.  According to CNN, the two countries Wednesday signed an agreement to base U.S. ballistic missile interceptors in Poland, a move that angered Russia. 

Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed the deal and hailed it as a breakthrough in international cooperation. They said the missiles would be used only for defense.

"It will help both the [NATO] alliance and Poland and the United States respond to the coming threats," Rice said. "Missile defense, of course, is aimed at no one. It is in our defense that we do this."

Moscow says the missile-defense system is aimed at blunting Russia's nuclear deterrent. It has warned the deal could open Poland to attack.

Rice called Russia's remarks "pathetic," the same term used by NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a day earlier to describe the threats. She vowed that Poland's NATO allies will come to its defense.

She said Wednesday that Russia's aggression toward Europe has been going on for a while, with Georgia the latest example. Russian troops remain inside Georgia -- after fighting that flared nearly two weeks ago --despite a cease-fire agreement that included a pledge to withdraw.

Although it pushed for the missile system, Poland had made demands that had stalled negotiations. The pace of the talks accelerated, however, after Russia invaded Georgia in the dispute over South Ossetia, a region that broke away from Georgia.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the missile system strengthens the two countries' strategic partnership and improves security.

The agreement will put a ground-based ballistic missile defense facility with 10 interceptor missiles in Poland close to the Russian border, according to the declaration. The United States will begin deploying the Patriot air and missile defense system next year, with a garrison to support it by 2012


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