ship-based SM-3 missile, now being modified for land-based uses:
the Kremlin find this any more palatable than the previous system?
Poland Agrees to Accept Modified U.S. Missile Shield
"Poland is needed on the world stage, not just as a
country in need of help. We have become a partner in the eyes of the United
States, and are expected to be active and share responsibility for the good
that should be done in the world."
-- Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
By Piotr Gillert and
Translated By Halszka
October 22, 2009
Poland - Rzeczpospolita - Original Article (Polish)
Warsaw welcomed Joseph Biden
with rain and cold, but the American guest had many warm words to say about our
country. “Poland is one of our closest allies. We share the same values and
ideals,” said Biden after meeting with Prime Minister Donald Tusk. “Poland is
in our hearts,” he insisted during a joint appearance with President Lech
[Biden's quotes are
translated - an English-language transcript of Biden's original remarks does
not appear available].
Biden came to Poland to erase the bad impression left by the inept
presentation of changes to the concept of anti-missile shield by the new
administration and to confirm a new American offer. Prime Minister Tusk
announced yesterday that our country has accepted it. “Poland is ready to
participate in the SM-3 project,”
[Editor's Note: The SM-3
missile is a ship-based anti-ballistic missile used as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense
System. It seems that these are to be modified and will be land-based in
'AN ACTIVE PARTNER'
As Tusk explained after his meeting
with Biden, Poland is needed “on the world stage, not just as a country in need
of help.” He added: “We have become a partner in the eyes of the United States,
and are expected to be active and share responsibility for the good that should
be done in the world.”
His guest seemed was visibly pleased
with that statement. “The United States appreciates that Poland has taken this
step and has agreed to the deployment of elements of the system,” Biden said,
adding that the shield will serve not only America, but the greater security of
NATO and Poland. He also assured that the U.S. treats takes its obligations to
its allies very seriously. As Polish diplomats told Rzeczpospolita,
Warsaw didn't expect the particulars during this visit, but rather a formal confirmation
of the American will to deploy a modified system of SM-3 missiles in Poland.
According to Wess Mitchell,
Co-Founder and Director of Research of the Center for European Policy Analysis,
Biden’s visit is of considerable importance. “This is a step in the right
direction. The Allies in Central Europe had to be informed about what this new
concept in anti-missile defense is all about, and a solid offer for them to
participate in the scheme had to be made. The offer is now on the table and it's
an honest one, but its still too far in the future for details to be of much
importance. The main thing is that the U.S. has shown its allies that it is a reliable
partner that delivers on its obligations,” Mitchell told Rzeczpospolita.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Vice President Joe Biden
in Warsaw, Oct. 21. Mission accomplished for Biden?
OR CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH BBC NEWS COVERAGE ]
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Dziennik, Poland: 'Live American Shields' are Better than Bush's Missile Defense System
Financial Times Deutschland: Missile Shield Editorials: 'Time for Confrontation is Over'
Der Spiegel, Germany:
Biden Seeks to Smooth Feathers in 'New Europe'
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia:
Should We Praise or 'Curse Those Treacherous Yankees'?
After the Shield: Time for Kremlin to Bring Itself to Reciprocate
Iran Can't Be 'Swapped' for Halt to U.S. Missile Defense
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia:
Medvedev 'Confesses' His Plans Differ from Putin's
Obama's Russia 'Gambit'
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland:
Obama's Lesson: Poland Can't Count on the United States
Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear
Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland:
Missile Shield Talks: How the Bush Team Lost Poland
Obama's Anti-Missile Gambit Pursued for the Greater Good
Le Monde, France:
Obama's Missile Policy Change a Shrewd Gambit
Der Spiegel, Germany :
'Russian Euphoria' at
Obama's Decision To
Shelve Missile Shield
The Times, U.K.:
'Dismay in Europe'
as Obama Ditches Missile Shield
NATO Envoy Warns Against
'Childish Euphoria' Over Shield
“We have reason to be
satisfied,” was Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski’s take on the Biden’s
visit, according to Polsat News. Sikorski also announced that in
November he will go to Washington, where he will likely talk to Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton.
As representatives of the
American Administration stressed yesterday, no one yet knows exactly what
missiles with end up in Poland. What is clear is that the project will be
implemented beginning after 2015 and should be finished by 2018. This will be
the next phase of modernization of the system, which is currently centered
exclusively on ship-based SM-3 rocket launchers. The deadline for the
implementation of these changes is the source of some discomfort for Warsaw.
Another issue is ongoing talks on the status of American troops in Poland.
Although both sides declare their readiness for the agreement, they have failed
to arrive at a common position on a number of points, including criminal
liability for American forces in Poland. “There are a few difficulties here;
hopefully they will be solved through compromise,” the Polish president said
after meeting with Joe Biden.
But Defense Minister Aleksander
Szczygło was critical of the prime minister’s declaration. “The prospect
of six to nine years before the shield comes into existence is quite remote. I
am astonished by the prime minister’s declaration. It's a pity that the
government didn't accept the previous agreement with similar speed. It is
amazing that it has agreed to something so far in the future, while talks on
the status of the American forces drag on - which is necessary for the
installation of Patriot missile batteries in Poland and for any American military
presence on our territory,” Szczygło told Rzeczpospolita.
CLICK HERE FOR POLISH VERSION
by WORLDMEETS.US October 26, 5:26pm]