Prague – The U.S. administration shelved the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic for good.
Czech PM Jan Fischer has confirmed Wednesday that US President Barack Obama called him up late last night to let him know Washington has decided to back away from the US defense system in Central Europe.
PM Fischer also said that the U.S. representatives would explain the decision on the missile defense shield later on Thursday. President Obama is expected to give a statement shortly.
“We have been aware of the possibility the the American allies could reconsider their intention to build an anti-missile shield in Central Europe,” said Fischer in an interview for BBC World Service.
“We expect that the United States will continue in cooperating with the Czech Republic in concluding the relevant agreements on mutual research and development and military colaboration,” he added.
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The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the US now considers Iran’s long-range missile plans as less advanced than originally predicted. High costs and good relations with Russia have played a role, too, according to experts.
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“The US will base its decision on a determination that Iran’s long-range missile program has not progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental US and major European capitals, according to current and former US officials,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
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According to experts, it is a major US foreign policy shift.
The US administration under George Bush signed a deal with the Czech Republic in July 2008. As soon as Barack Obama came to power, he ordered a thorough revision of the plan.
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Russia that strongly opposed the plan now welcomed the US decision. Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said that the US move “was a breakthrough” for future US-Russian relations.
The Czech Civic Democratic Party (ODS) under whose government the accord was signed expressed their concerns over the US administration backing away from the plan, while the Communist Party is in favor of the move.