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Polish premier says no final decision on U.S. missile shield yet

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Poland has not yet decided on the possible deployment of elements of the U.S. missile shield on its territory, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.
WARSAW, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Poland has not yet decided on the possible deployment of elements of the U.S. missile shield on its territory, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Wednesday.

Despite the Russian-Polish consultations that have taken place on the issue, U.S. plans to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland remain a bone of contention in relations between Moscow and Warsaw. Russia views the plans as a destabilizing factor for Europe and a threat to its national security.

"We have not made the final decision on the [U.S.] missile shield," Tusk told the Russian media on the eve of his February 8 visit to Moscow. "In any case, relations between Poland and Russia must be viewed considering Poland's membership in NATO and the EU, and allied relations with the U.S."

However, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said last Friday that Warsaw and Washington had agreed in principle on the deployment of a U.S. missile defense base on Polish territory.

Tusk's victory in last October's parliamentary elections sparked hopes of a thaw in the chilly relations between the two countries under former Polish premier Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Following the lifting by Russia of a two-year embargo on Polish meat late last year bilateral ties have significantly improved between Warsaw and Moscow.

Tusk said his first visit to Moscow as prime minister would focus on steady development in trade, and economic and humanitarian cooperation between the two countries.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will host a meeting with the Polish premier on Friday.

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