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25 April 2017 00:50 (South Africa)

Poland signs on to replace American anti-missile shield

Polish Prime Minister Donald  Tusk declared Poland was ready to join in a revised US missile defence plan. Tusk told US Vice President Joe Biden it was “ready to participate”. Poland will now host a small US base for short-range missiles replacing the larger, more complex system planned by former president George W Bush. Obama's decision to scrap Bush-era plans to build a defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic initially caused alarm in those countries. The White House’s intention to “reset” its relations with Russia (not surprisingly, an opponent of the missiles), ostensibly to get Russian help in dealings with Iran and other trouble spots, led some observers to wonder if the Obama administration was sacrificing Central and Eastern European opinions for Russian support. As a result, Biden's visit to Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic is meant to restate America’s support for those nations. The new missile system could be installed by 2015.

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