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May 29, 2007

Polish president rejects talks with Russia

 
May 29, 2007

PRAGUE: Poland will not discuss the US missile shield facilities planned for central Europe with Russia, Czech daily Mlada Fronta quoted Polish President Lech Kaczynski as saying on Monday.

‘We will certainly not talk about it with the Russians. It is a relationship between us and the Americans,’ Kaczynski told the newspaper in an interview, adding ‘the conviction by Russia that it is threatened by some danger is utterly untrue.’ Kaczynski indirectly confirmed that Poland will seek security guarantees in exchange for the deployment. ‘We need a tight military cooperation with the US and we will conduct the negotiations in this field,’ he said.

Warsaw would not request that Washington abolish visa requirements for Polish citizens visiting the US, Kaczynski added, as the US administration does not decide the matter. ‘It could be a good argument, certainly,’ he said. ‘But bear in mind that we are present in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Lebanon, on the Golan Heights, in Kosovo, in Bosnia. Almost everywhere ... but it has not changed the visa policy.’

According to Kaczynski, fewer Poles looking for work abroad find the US attractive. ‘It is too far and the dollar has been declining. Poles can work legally in the European Union,’ the president said.