Gates seeks more time on missile shield

Feb. 20, 2009 at 1:12 PM

KRAKOW, Poland, Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The United States needs more time to review plans for a missile shield in Eastern Europe, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told Polish officials Friday.

Gates discussed the plan, which includes installation of Patriot missiles in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic, with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, Poland Radio reported. Gates was at a meeting of NATO members in Krakow that ended Friday.

The project was pushed by the Bush administration, evoking strong objections from Russia. Gates said that the Obama administration needs to consider its relationship with Poland and the Czech Republic as well as Russia and its obligations to NATO.

At the informal summit, officials discussed continued transformation of NATO.

"It should be a reform that would allow NATO to respond to new threats and challenges in an effective way," Tusk said.

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