Archive for the ‘Polish’ Category

Poland, Czech Republic Ask U.S. To Keep Missile Defense Plans; Telling France, Sarkozy, Medvedev to “Bugger Off”

November 17, 2008

Poland and the Czech Republic hope that the new U.S. administration does not change its plans for a missile shield in Central Europe, the Euronews television channel reported on Saturday.

“We are not waiting for, even on political grounds, any kind of revolution. But of course, a new president looks at everything in a new way,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Saturday.

“We know the position of the newly elected president – he told me himself that he wants to be sure that thing works,” the Polish foreign minister added in comments broadcast on Euronews.

From: RIA Novosti

Under President George Bush, Washington has worked hard to reach agreements with Warsaw and Prague on the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

The U.S. has insisted that the missile shield is intended to protect against attacks from “rogue states” such as Iran. Russia has protested strenuously against the system as a threat to its national security.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev during the EU-Russia summit, in Nice, southern France, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.  They agreed with each other but leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic and the U.S. said “bugger off.”(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office in January, has been noncommittal on missile defense. After his election victory, a senior foreign policy adviser, Denis McDonough, said he would only continue with the project if its effectiveness was proven.

Euronews also reported that the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic had been surprised by the declaration of French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday that the missile defense system would not improve Europe’s security.

“We should not talk about deployment of a missile shield, which would do nothing to bring security,” Sarkozy said at a news conference with President Dmitry Medvedev after the EU-Russia summit in the French resort city of Nice.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said in a statement to reporters he “was surprised” by Sarkozy’s remarks.

“As far as the French presidency’s mandate for the EU-Russia summit is concerned, it contains no mention of the anti-missile shield,” he said.

France holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch ... 
An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch platform during a test firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert in this image released to Fars News by the military November 12, 2008.  Iran says these missiles can now reach Israel and into Europe.REUTERS/FARS NEWS

Obama, Polish President Not In Agreement on Facts Of Phone Conversation

November 9, 2008

World leaders have to be direct with each other and cannot speak in “code”…

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President-elect Barack Obama’s private conversation with Poland’s president created an international disagreement Saturday, with President Lech Kaczynski saying Mr. Obama promised to continue a missile-defense system and the transition office saying the Democrat made no such commitment.

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski arrives at the start of ... 
Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski arrives at the start of European Union leaders summit in Brussels November 7, 2008. EU heads of states and governments are set to call on Friday for next week’s global finance summit in Washington to launch rapid reforms to prevent a fresh outbreak of the credit crisis that has rocked the world economy.REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM)

President Bush’s White House declined to weigh in on the Friday phone call between the Polish leader and Mr. Obama, who will take office Jan. 20.

By Christina Bellantoni
The Washington Times
Sunday, November 9, 2008
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Mr. Obama has spoken with at least 15 world leaders including Mr. Kaczynski and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Mr. Kaczynski issued a statement in the Polish-language section of his Web site saying the U.S. president-elect “emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States and expressed hope in the continuation of political and military cooperation between our countries. He also said that the missile-defense project would continue.”

Obama senior foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough released a statement once the news came from Poland.

“President-elect had a good conversation with the Polish president and the Polish prime minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance,” Mr. McDonough said. “President Kaczynski raised missile defense but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign — that he supports deploying a missile-defense system when the technology is proved to be workable.”

Politico.com reported Saturday night that Obama advisers Susan Rice and Tony Lake e-mailed “Obama foreign policy experts” with details on the transition and a warning they should not “under any circumstances speak to the press, any foreign officials, or embassies on behalf of the transition or President-elect Obama.”

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of this request. It would be highly damaging for foreign governments or media to receive information that they believe falsely to represent the views of the president-elect,” they wrote in an e-mail dated Nov. 7.

Related:

Obama ‘no commitment’ on missile shield

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
nov/09/obama-polish-president-at-odds-on-call/

Bush, Polish PM agree on missile defense

March 11, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said President Bush has removed key stumbling blocks in negotiations to allow U.S. missile defense interceptors on Polish soil.

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk answers questions about ...
Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk answers questions about allowing U.S. missile defense interceptors to be based on Polish soil, Monday, March 10, 2008, during and interview with The Associated Press in Washington, following his meeting with President Bush. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Negotiations had been stalled because of Poland’s demand for help in upgrading its military in exchange for allowing the interceptors. U.S. negotiators wanted to deal with the Polish demands separately and leave promises vague.

But Tusk said that Bush agreed during their meeting Monday that the missile defense program and the U.S.-aided modernization of the Polish military would be considered all in “one package.”

“The words of President Bush were very convincing,” he told The Associated Press through an interpreter after leaving the White House. “This is a politician, who is controversial for some but in my opinion is very trustworthy. I believe that is extremely important in the world of politics.”
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for ... 
A ballistic missile streaks across the sky during a test for the US missile defense program in 2001.(AFP/File/Mike Nelson)

Bush, in a joint appearance with Tusk at the White House, said he had assured the prime minister that the United States would develop a concrete plan for helping Poland modernize its military “before my watch is over.”

The U.S. missile defense plans have become one of the thorniest issues in U.S.-Russian relations. Russia opposes the U.S. plan to build part of its global missile defense system so close to Russian borders, arguing that it would undermine the Russian deterrent. The United States says the system is aimed at countering a threat from Iran or North Korea and would be impotent against Russia’s massive arsenal.

The Polish government argues that the military upgrade is necessary because Russia has threatened to target Poland with nuclear missiles if it should allow the interceptors.

The White House denied the suggestion that the military help is a reward for Polish agreement on the interceptors or that it is needed because of a Russian threat to Poland.

“It is certainly not a quid pro quo,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said. “Who is suggesting that Russia is going to attack anybody?”

When told that it is Polish officials who have said this, Perino said that it wasn’t part of the discussions Monday between Tusk and Bush.

Tusk said that the United States had backed down from an insistence that it would need six months to consider how it could help Poland upgrade its military. Tusk said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told him Monday that the period could be reduced to three months.

Following the meeting between the two leaders at the White House, Bush said the United States recognizes the need for Polish forces to be modernized, and “we’re responding.”

“There is a commitment to a system that respects Poland’s sovereignty and that will ensure that the people of Poland will not be subjected to any undue security risks,” Bush said. “This is the kind of issue that all kinds of rumors and worries can grow out of and we just want to assure people that it’s necessary and at the same time there will be this modernization effort that will take place.”

Neither leader talked specifics. Bush said “obviously there’s a lot of work to do” and that experts are working through the details to make sure that “the people of Poland are comfortable with the idea.”

The United States opened the negotiations last year with the government of previous Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who strongly supported the U.S. proposal. Tusk’s government has sought more in return.

Polish officials have said they are looking for help to acquire air defenses against short- to medium-range missiles. Negotiators have asked for Patriot 3 or THAAD missiles and have identified 17 areas of the Polish military that the United States could help modernize. Interceptors for the planned U.S. shield are for protection against long-range missiles.

Bush, Polish PM to Discuss Missile Defense Today

March 10, 2008
WASHINGTON (AP) — Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is hoping talks Monday with President Bush will help break an impasse on allowing U.S. missile defense interceptors to be based on Polish soil.

The two leaders also are likely to discuss NATO’s operations in Afghanistan, since Poland is set to expand its contribution to the force.

The two countries have been negotiating Polish demands for help in upgrading its military in exchange for allowing the missile defense interceptors, although it was not expected that the two leaders would reach a deal in the White House meeting. Negotiators appear hung up over how specific the U.S. promises would be to help upgrade Poland’s military.

The United States opened the negotiations last year….

Read the rest:
 http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-03-10-poland-missiles_N.htm?csp=34

U.S., Poland Closer to Deal on Missile Defense

February 2, 2008

By Karen DeYoung
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 2, 2008; Page A16

The United States and Poland broke a logjam yesterday in negotiations over U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, with the Bush administration committing “in principle” to help Poland modernize its armed forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with ...
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (R) shakes hands with Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Radoslaw Sikorski after a news conference at the State Department in Washington February 1, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


Poland is “satisfied that our arguments have got through,” Foreign Affairs Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said. At a news conference yesterday with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sikorski said that “separate” dialogues would now continue “both on the missile defense base and on the modernization.”

Talks on the Pentagon‘s plan to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland stalled after the new Polish government, which took office in November, proved less receptive to the shield than its predecessor. With the public increasingly….

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/01/AR2008020101910.html