Tuesday, June 21, 2011

U.S. scraps missile defense plan for Czech Republic

The United States has abandoned plans to deploy a missile early warning center as part of a European missile defense system in the Czech Republic, Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra was quoted by CTK news agency as saying on Wednesday.

"The Czech Republic will look for other options to participate in the project," Vondra said after a meeting with U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Linn.

The center was to replace a radar facility planned by the former U.S. administration under President George Bush.

The Barack Obama administration scrapped the plan in 2009 and opted for a missile early warning center instead.

Vondra said last week that Prague did not want a mere "consolation prize" from the United States to make up for the scrapping of the original plans.

Russia is opposed to the U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat.

The U.S. is reluctant to provide legally binding guarantees that the system will not be directed against Russia.

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