Poland and the United States remain in tight contact on the planned fielding no later than 2018 of future-generation U.S. missile interceptors in the Eastern European country, the U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday (see GSN, June 7).
Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta held talks at the Pentagon that addressed the coming deployment of advanced ballistic missile interceptors, RIA Novosti reported. In accordance with NATO efforts to build a missile shield in Europe, Poland has agreed to host Standard Missile 3 Block 2A interceptors that are envisioned as having the capacity to defeat short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (see GSN, May 18).
Pentagon spokesman George Little in released comments said, "Panetta thanked Siemoniak for Poland's leadership on NATO ballistic missile defense," RIA Novosti reported.
"Poland was the first nation to establish a BMD agreement with the United States," Little noted, adding, "the two nations are working closely together to establish a [Standard Missile 3] ballistic missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018."
The interceptors are to be fielded near the Baltic Sea coast in Redzikowo, according to previous reporting (see GSN, Sept. 16, 2011).
Russia opposes the fielding of advanced interceptors in Poland, which borders the Russian exclave Kaliningrad. The Kremlin suspects the interceptors could secretly target its long-range nuclear missiles and says they would jeopardize the nuclear balance of powers on the continent (RIA Novosti, July 26).
Poland and the United States remain in tight contact on the planned fielding no later than 2018 of future-generation U.S. missile interceptors in the Eastern European country, the U.S. Defense Department said on Wednesday.