23:12 GMT +323 January 2020
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    The US Aegis Ashore missile defense system due to be built in the Polish village of Redzikowo is not directed against Russia, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Friday, Redzikowo is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, which is part of an US-designed ballistic missile defense system in Europe.

    "The initiative of the missile defense shield is not directed against Russia," Waszczykowski told the Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP) news agency, adding that the military base would significantly change Poland's security status.

    According to the minister, Poland has sought to change this status for years despite joining NATO in 1999.

    Polish top diplomat stressed that US-designed ballistic missile defense system in Europe was directed against missile threats from the Middle East.

    On Thursday, the US Aegis Ashore missile defense system was officially inaugurated at a military base in Romania.

    "These two bases — in Romania and Poland — are located so that they will be practically unable to intercept missiles launched from Russia in direction of the United States, that is why Russia's criticism is unfounded," Waszczykowski said.

    Russia has repeatedly expressed concern over the creation of the ballistic missile defense system in Europe, approved in 2010 during a NATO summit in Lisbon. A group of European countries, including Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey, agreed to deploy elements of the system on their territories.

    The facility in Redzikowo is expected to be fully operational by 2018. The military base is expected to be equipped with medium range SM-3 interceptor missiles as well as a radio guidance radar. About 300 US servicemen are supposed to serve the facility.


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    air defense, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense, United States, Poland
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