U.S., Poland discuss missile defense

July 26, 2012 at 1:20 PM

WARSAW, Poland, July 26 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Polish governments are coordinating plans for the development of a missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018, a military spokesman said.

Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak met with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in to Warsaw to discuss the deployment of a missile defense system.

U.S. Defense Department spokesman George Little said Washington welcomes Poland's support for European missile defense, noting Warsaw was the first country to establish a ballistic missile defense agreement with the United States.

"The two nations are working closely together to establish an SM-3 ballistic missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Plans for a missile defense system in Poland were scrapped in 2010 but revisited last year by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Minsk in December took delivery of two of the 12 Tor-M2 anti-aircraft missile systems from Russia. The Belarusian government said the short-range surface-to-air system will be deployed near the western border with Poland.

The Kremlin said it was frustrated with U.S. missile plans close to its western border. Washington said the planned deployment is meant as a deterrent to Iranian threats.

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