Biden to visit Poland, Romania, Czech Rep.
Vice President Biden will visit Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic this month, the White House said.
Vice President Joe Biden will visit Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic this month, the White House said on Tuesday, amid fresh concerns over the U.S. commitment to eastern Europe's defense.
Biden will visit the three NATO allies from Oct. 20-24 and meet with heads of state and government, parliamentary leaders and others on a broad range of issues, including security challenges, the White House said.
U.S. President Barack Obama in September shelved a project first proposed by former President George W. Bush to install a missile shield in eastern Europe that would have included interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic.
The missile defense system was originally proposed to counter possible attacks from Iran, but it came to be seen by some as offering protection to former Soviet bloc nations still living in Moscow's shadow.
Obama said he would instead deploy a missile defense system involving sea-based as well as land-based interceptors, in a move Russia says threat for Europe.
The shift was warmly greeted by Russia, which had opposed the original missile plan, but it raised fears in a region worried about Moscow's assertive foreign policy, especially in the wake of its short war with Georgia last year.
The White House said Biden's visit was not an effort at damage control.
Reuters Last Mod: 06 Ekim 2009, 23:55