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Sme - Slovakia | Thursday, February 5, 2009

Will Obama sacrifice the missile shield?

According to reports published by the London-based newspaper The Times, the new US President Barack Obama is considering abandoning the missile defence shield project in Eastern Europe in a bid to encourage Russia to join it in reducing the nuclear arsenal by 80 percent. The liberal daily Sme expresses its disapproval. "If the reports are true it would mean a catastrophe in several respects. It would be a blow below the belt to the Czech and Polish governments and would undermine American credibility in the region. The political struggle in the Czech Republic over the radar (meant to be part of the defence shield together with defensive missiles in Poland) was fierce. ... Prime Minister [Mirek] Topolanek would have every reason to be upset. And what would Russia, which has just cut off gas supplies to half the continent, learn? That aggressiveness only strengthens its position. Disarmament is all very well and good. ... However backing off from the Russians would run counter not only to the interests of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, but to those of America as well."

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