- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Rep. Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
Poland backs missile defense plan
Calls on Russia to go along
Question of the Day
KIEV | Russia should embrace Western plans for missile defense because they will strengthen international security, Poland's foreign minister said Wednesday before talks between Moscow and the Western military alliance.
Radoslaw Sikorski also told Reuters that NATO's core task remained the defense of its member states and said that should not be compromised by the current U.S.-led drive to "reset" severely strained ties with Russia.
"Russia should recognize that missiles will be a major threat in the 21st century. ... We in Poland believe missile defense is necessary and we are glad that the rest of NATO is coming round [to supporting it]," he said during an interview on board a government plane flying to Ukraine.
The Nov. 20 NATO-Russia meeting in Lisbon, part of a two-day summit of alliance leaders, will examine what input Moscow may have in a U.S.-backed missile defense system and will also discuss coordination on issues from Afghanistan to piracy.
The Kremlin opposed the Bush administration's plans to deploy elements of an ambitious missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic aimed at longer-range missiles, saying they could compromise Moscow's large nuclear arsenal.
Washington insisted the shield was to defend against rogue states such as Iran, not against Russia.
President Obama scrapped the shield plans and has instead proposed smaller sea- and land-based interceptors targeting shorter-range missiles, but Russia remains wary.
Asked about the chances of overcoming Moscow's concerns, Mr. Sikorski said: "The question is whether NATO will build its own system but we are not even at the planning stage yet, just at the conceptual and political stage. ... So much depends on the kind of system we finally decide on and Russia's reaction."
NATO leaders are expected to agree in Lisbon to spend $273 million over 10 years on linking their existing missile defense systems and the missile interceptors and radar Washington plans to deploy in Europe.
"Poland is eyeing strong backing for the NATO MD [missile defense] after the summit," Mr. Sikorski said.
Despite Poland's efforts to mend its own ties with Russia, long strained by missile defense, NATO's eastern enlargement and historical issues, its continued distrust of Moscow two decades after the end of the Cold War was evident in Mr. Sikorski's remarks.
"While we should cooperate with Russia as much as our mutual interests require, NATO remains a military alliance whose primary mission is the protection of the territory of its member states, and that mission must be credible," he said.
"The safer all members feel, the more open they are for 'resets' and for friendly relations with nonmembers."
Poland, shaken by Moscow's short war with Georgia in 2008, strongly welcomed NATO's new Strategic Concept, or vision statement, which is expected to be approved in Lisbon, because it reconfirms the alliance's core commitment to collective defense.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq