Russia astonished by Poland's U.S.-NATO statement

18:41, November 06, 2009      

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said late Thursday that he was very surprised by his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski's reported statement that the U.S. should deploy troops in Central Europe.

"Before elaborating on this statement I would like to make sure that he actually said that and if he did, I would be deeply astonished," news agencies quoted Lavrov as telling reporters.

"I know Radoslaw Sikorski. He always gives me an impression of a man who has experience and understands the situation with regard to what is happening in Europe," said the Russian top diplomat.

"If he did say this then I'm astounded because he and I discussed in tiny detail the problems that should be resolved in the context of European security and the objectives that Russia pursues with its initiative on a new treaty on European security, as well as with its position on the antiballistic missile system," he added.

When visiting Washington, Sikorski was reported to have urged the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to deploy troops in Central Europe, as Poland needed "some strategic reassurance."

The Obama administration announced in September that Washington would abandon a Bush-era missile defense program while initiating a "phased, adaptive approach" in Eastern Europe.

Based on the new program, the United States might deploy SM-3 tactical anti-ballistic missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic as early as 2015. Poland said it was ready to join the revised plan.

Source: Xinhua
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