U.S. Vice President Joe Biden sought reconciliation Wednesday with America’s staunch allies in eastern Europe, starting with Poland, which eagerly signed on to a revamped U.S. missile shield.
A month after the Obama administration stung Poland by scrapping a Bush-era plan that would have placed a major anti-missile base in the country, the Polish prime minister and president gave their backing to the scaled-down alternative. That was an achievement for Biden who will take his message to Romania and the Czech Republic.
Premier Donald Tusk signed on to President Barack Obama’s revamped U.S. missile shield, declaring Poland ready to participate in the project, which is intended to counter threats from Iran.
“I want to stress that Poland views ... the new configuration for the missile shield as very interesting, necessary, and we are ready at the appropriate scale to participate,” Tusk told reporters at a news conference with Biden.
The Obama plan would place SM-3 anti-ballistic missiles at a former air base in the town of Redzikowo in northern Poland — the same site that was to host U.S. missile interceptors in underground silos under the Bush plan.
Poland views hosting a U.S. missile defense base as a means to cement its security ties with Washington, particularly in the face of a resurgent Russia.