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UPDATED: 09:17, January 25, 2007
Polish deputy PM suggests referendum on anti-missile shield
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Polish Deputy Prime Minister and co- ruling Self-defense party leader Andrzej Lepper does not exclude a possibility of holding a referendum on the deployment of an anti- missile shield in Poland.

"If there is a will to hold a referendum on the matter, we are for it," Lepper told journalists in the Sejm on Wednesday.

The Self-defense leader believes that the decision on the shield should not provoke conflicts between Poland and its neighbors. But, he said: "We cannot give in to Russia's pressure. We must think about Poland's interest and security."

"The deploying of the anti-missile shield in Poland is a project that will take generations and not a year or a few years. The decision should be wise and well thought-out,"the PAP news agency quoted Lepper as saying.

Lepper suggested that a decision by the Polish authorities should be preceded by a broad debate with the participation of political parties and social organizations.

Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told PAP last Monday that in the coming two weeks the United States would present Poland details of a proposal to build an anti-missile shield in Poland.

The United States made a formal offer to the Czech Republic and wants to open talks with Poland on the shield. Under the proposal, Poland could be the base for underground rocket silos and the Czech Republic would host the radar system.

Last year, Poland demanded the United States to provide an additional guarantee for its security while locating the missile defense systems in the country.

Fearing a strong protest from Russia, the United States rejected the demand and bilateral talks on the deployment collapsed.

Source: Xinhua

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