October 21, 2012
New arms race? Poland to spend fortune on missile defense
Warsaw plans to expend up to US$400 million on the creation of its missile defense system as Russia promises to deploy weapons close to Poland’s borders in response to the proposed American AMD shield.
The US missile defense shield in Europe – which Russia sees as a threat to its national security – has been a bone of contention between Moscow and NATO. Washington claims there is no threat, but has refused to provide legally-binding guarantees that the system would not be used against Russia.
Moscow underlined that, though it has every capability of adequately responding to the shield’s deployment, it would prefer Washington's plans to be reviewed. No matter what terms the American side uses, the missile defense plan "is still an element of an arms race," President Vladimir Putin said earlier.
As part of the project, the US plans to station SM-3 missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018.
Russia in response announced it would deploy Iskander missiles systems in its westernmost region Kaliningrad (bordering Poland and Lithuania) to counter the threat. Earlier this year, a top Russian military official also raised the possibility of a possible pre-emptive strike on the European missile system if the US refuses a dialogue.