The United States indicated on Wednesday that it still expects Russia to cooperate on the missile defense issue but that the plan will go ahead anyway.
“We’ve also made it clear that we would love to cooperate on missile defense against mutual threats with Russia,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after talks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.
The new missile interceptor that Poland will host, as well as a new American aviation detachment to be stationed in Poland, “will be cornerstones of our mutual security commitments,” Clinton said.
She stressed that missile defense is a matter for NATO.
“NATO has made a decision. We believe that it is in all of our interests to carry forward and implement that decision.”
“Now, we’ve also made it clear that we would love to cooperate on missile defense against mutual threats with Russia. That is not only a U.S. position; that is also through NATO that we have sought to discuss this at the NATO-Russia Council,” she said.
“Thus far, we’ve not seen a lot of movement, but we are going to continue to press that with the Russians and hope that there will be an agreement at some point that could be in both of our interests.”
NATO members agreed to create a missile shield over Europe to protect it against ballistic missiles launched by so-called rogue states, such as Iran and North Korea, at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010.
Russia has demanded that NATO provide written, legally binding guarantees that its missile shield will not be directed against Moscow but the alliance has been reluctant to meet the demand.