Nearly half of Poles approve of scrapping missile shield

21st September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A majority -- 58 percent -- said the US decision would not affect Poland's security, according to a recent poll.

Warsaw -- Some 48 percent of Poles say they approve of US President Barack Obama's decision to scrap plans for a missile shield in their country and the neighbouring Czech Republic, a survey showed Saturday.

The poll published in the Rzeczpospolita newspaper also showed 31 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the decision and 21 percent were undecided.

At the same time, a majority -- 58 percent -- said the US decision would not affect Poland's security, according to the poll conducted Friday by the GfK Polonia institute in a sampling of 500 people.

Obama announced Thursday that he had decided to replace the shield plans of the prior Bush administration with a more mobile system using mainly sea-based interceptors to target any attack with short- and medium-range missiles, with Iran seen as the main threat.

The poll also found that 40 percent of those interviewed thought Washington had bowed to pressure from Russia in abandoning the initial shield project, and 20 percent said the move amounted to "neglecting its allies" in central Europe.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday called Obama's decision a "brave" move as Moscow had strongly condemned the plans to place missile interceptors in neighbouring Poland and an anti-missile radar facility in the Czech Republic.

In turn, Russia decided to freeze its move to put Iskandar short-range missiles in its Kaliningrad territory between Poland and Lithuania.

AFP/Expatica

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