The United States will deploy SM-3 interceptor missiles in Poland between 2015 and 2018 under its plan despite criticism of Russia, a Polish official said on Thursday.
The interceptors, which target short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, are part of President Barack Obama's revamped missile defence system.
They would replace Bush-era plans for Poland and the Czech Republic to host elements of an ambitious shield to defend against possible long-range attack from Iran.
"Poland's Defence Minister Bogdan Klich said the Americans promised to bring the SM-3s here after 2015 but definitely before 2018," defence spokesman Janusz Sejmej said.
Russia objected strongly to President George W. Bush's original missile shield plan but has expressed milder concern about the Obama proposals.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk signalled his government's readiness to participate in Obama's revamped system during a visit to Warsaw in October by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to visit Krakow, southern Poland, on Saturday where she and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski will sign an amendment to the 2008 missile shield accord reached with the Bush administration.
Under a separate deal, the United States will send one of its Patriot missile batteries, accompanied by 100 personnel, from its permanent location in Germany to train Polish soldiers. The battery will be in Poland for a month in each quarter.
Poland has been rattled by Russia's more assertive foreign policy on the territory of the ex-Soviet Union, especially in Georgia, and the Patriot deal is seen as symbolically important in underlining U.S. commitment to its security..
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 02 Temmuz 2010, 08:34