Obama Medvedev 248.88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The Obama administration has developed possible alternative plans for a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, the New York Times reported over the weekend.
According to the report, US President Barack Obama may present ideas to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev at a meeting in New York during the annual opening at the General Assembly of the United Nations in September.
US officials reportedly told the newspaper that among the alternatives are dropping either the Polish or Czech site, or both sites, and instead building launching pads or radar installations in Turkey or the Balkans, while developing land-based versions of the Aegis SM-3, a ship-based anti-missile system.
The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the report.
The US will not forsake Eastern European security and is committed to protecting its allies from Iran, White House officials stressed.
"We definitely are not abandoning our commitment to defend our European allies from a missile threat from Iran," an official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the review was not complete, was quoted as saying. "We are exploring options that will enhance the defense of our European allies."
While the officials said decisions have not yet been made, Piotr Paszkowski, a spokesman for Poland's foreign minister was quoted as saying that "It is clear that Eastern Europe is out of the epicenter of this American administrationâ€¦The missile defense system is now under review. The chances that it will be in Poland are 50-50."
Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told the paper Moscow anticipated news from Mr. Obama in September. "I hope that Medvedev will take some good result from this bilateral discussion in New York, and maybe in October we will live in a new world in Russian-American relations," he reportedly said.