Tuesday, Aug 19, 2008
On August 14, Poland and the United States signed an agreement on the deployment of 10 ground-based missile interceptors (GBIs) on Polish territory.
The timing of the event leaves little doubt that it is linked with the recent conflict in the Caucasus. Like Washington, Warsaw unreservedly backed Tbilisi at all levels, and eventually agreed to host U.S. missile defense. Thus, a third positioning missile defense area has become reality.
Despite Russia’s repeated appeals to the United States to clarify the status of missile defense, Moscow has not yet received a meaningful answer. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the “U.S.-promised transparency and confidence-building measures have not yet become reality.”
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Russia has serious differences on missile defense with NATO, which cannot decide on its format in Europe. Will Russia be included in European missile defense, or will it be merely a segment of U.S. national missile defense?
These questions became urgent in 2007, when the Americans started carrying out their plan of deploying radars and interceptor missiles by launching geodesic and surveying work at the future sites on Polish and Czech territory. They also began intergovernmental talks to draft agreements on their legal status.