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Czech sets no deadline for talks on US radar base

The Czech republic has set no date for the completion of talks with the United States about a US radar base on Czech soil, Czech defense and foreign ministries said on Tuesday. Romania supports extending missile defense shield.

In reaction to the Pentagon saying it hopes the treaty with Prague would be ready in the weeks ahead, Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova told the Czech news agency CTK that “We will complete the negotiations only at the moment we will reach a good agreement. We have set no final date. The negotiations will continue next week. The United States has not yet fulfilled all our security, economic and foreign political demands.” According to the information from the French news agency AFP, Pentagon spokesman Goeff Morell said that the negotiations with Prague continue very, very quickly. The United States is coming close to an agreement with the Czech Republic and that it hopes it will be able to make an announcement in the weeks ahead, AFP quoted Morell as saying.

Czech Defense Ministry spokesman Andrej Cirtek told the CTK that the Czech Republic is negotiating about two treaties - one under the supervision of the Defense Ministry and the other one under the supervision of the Foreign Ministry. “Negotiations about both treaties are progressing, but it can by no means be said when they will be completed. The Czech republic has set itself no deadline. The goal is to negotiate the most advantageous treaties,” Cirtek said. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek previously said that the Czech government wants to submit to parliament the treaties on the stationing of the US radar base on Czech soil after the NATO summit in Bucharest in April in the ideal case. The government has set no deadline for the completion of the negotiations with the United States, Topolanek said, adding that quality is more important than speed on this issue. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said during his visit in Prague on Jan. 10 that Poland and the Czech Republic will coordinate their negotiations with Washington on the deployment of a US anti-missile defense system in the two countries.

Romania supports the extending of the missile defense shield that will protect it as well as Bulgaria since both countries have only a partial missile protection, Romanian Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said on Tuesday. Since NATO is based on the principle of solidarity, Romania is interested in security in Europe, particularly its southeastern part, the Czech news agency CTK quoted Tariceanu as saying after meeting his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolanek. He said that the building of the missile defense system must not exclude Russia. On the contrary, Russia should become a partner both for the EU and for NATO in this sphere, Tariceanu added. (xinhua)