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Czech lawmaker accuses government of misleading public on radar

The Czech government has misled the public about the planned construction of a US radar on Czech soil, Lubomir Zaoralek, Chamber of Deputies deputy chairman said at a press conference on Thursday.

Zaoralek said the statement by Jiri Sedivy, who is to become NATO assistant secretary general in the autumn, that the possible base will never be fully under NATO control differs from the government’s hitherto promises. „It seems to me that the government mucks us about the US radar base in the Czech Republic,” Zaoralek said.

Sedivy, former Czech defense minister, said on Wednesday the planned radar base, to be built in the Brdy military district, some 70 kilometers southwest of Prague within the US missile shield, will never be fully under NATO control and will eventually be put in harmony with similar plans within NATO. Zaoralek said he had the impression from the Czech government’s hitherto statements that a breakthrough had been made on the harmonization of the US and NATO missile systems that would be confirmed at the next NATO summit.

Sedivy’s statement showed that the previous statements by Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova in the parliament are nothing but dreams and wishful thinking, Zaoralek said. He also criticized the government for not reacting to the development of the debate on the missile system in the US Congress. He said it is more and more probable that the Congress will eventually refuse to approve funding of the interceptor missiles that are to be stationed in Poland.

It is not possible to protect the Czech republic without the interceptor missiles in Poland, he added. The United States unveiled its plan in January to place a radar system in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, as components of the missile defense shield. According to a recent public opinion poll, more than two thirds of Czech citizens disagree with the installation of the base. The government parties are not united on the issue either. (