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Slovak PM still critical about US anti-missile base

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico stressed on Friday that the visit of his Polish counterpart Donald Tusk had not changed his critical position on issue of US missile defense shield.

“My stand is generally known, so I do not feel any need to reiterate it,” he said. Fico opposed the stationing of US bases in neighboring countries all the time. The plans have met with threats from Russia that increases threats to Slovakia’s security as well, according to Fico. Tusk said that he wants to build an atmosphere of mutual trust with Slovakia on the issue of US missile shield system in Poland and the Czech Republic. “Installation of the shield in the Czech Republic and Poland is a matter of talks ... But I want to build the atmosphere of mutual trust,” Tusk said. “Clear and accurate information is the basis of trust,” he added. According to Tusk, he cared for the missile system to be integrated with the NATO or the European system of missile defense in the future.

Tusk’s government that replaced the conservative government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski last year makes it clear that it will only agree with the US base if it increases Poland’s security and provides greater military aid, including state-of-the-art air protection systems. The United States initiated the plan to deploy an anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor base in Poland. Russia has expressed strong objections to the US missile defense program in Poland and the Czech Republic. Some 70% of Czechs reject the planned US radar base in their country, according to a survey conducted by the CVVM polling institute. (