POL­ISH MIS­SILE DE­FENSE

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security -

Pol­ish For­eign Min­is­ter Ra­doslaw T. Siko­rski is urg­ing the U.S. Congress not to cut fund­ing for U.S. mis­sile de­fenses be­cause he is wor­ried it will un­der­mine Pol­ish sup­port for the re­cent U.S.-Poland agree­ment to build mis­sile de­fenses in Poland and the Czech Repub­lic.

“The im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile De­fense Agree­ment will re­quire po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment of both sides and ap­pro­pri­ate fund­ing,” Mr. Siko­rski stated in a Sept. 9 let­ter to House Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee Chair­man Rep. David R. Obey, Wis­con­sin Demo­crat.

The min­is­ter stated that the Pol­ish pub­lic is closely watch­ing the con­gres­sional de­bate on mis­silede­fense fund­ing as part of the fis­cal 2009 de­fense bill.

“A sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in fund­ing for the mis­sile-de­fense site in Europe may be in­ter­preted in Poland as a lack of com­mit­ment to the com­mon de­fense against mis­sile threats,” he stated.

Mr. Siko­rski also stated that the Rus­sia-Ge­or­gia war makes U.S. and Pol­ish se­cu­rity ties “more nec­es­sary than ever.”

A spokesman for Mr. Obey had no im­me­di­ate com­ment.

The Pen­tagon asked Congress for $285 mil­lion for Euro­pean mis­sile de­fense work, in­clud­ing the Pol­ish in­ter­cep­tor site, radar and construction funds. The House cut $165 mil­lion, leav­ing $119 mil­lion.

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