Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Thursday that plans to place a missile defense bases in the Czech Republic and Poland will test Europe's willingness to defend itself. The US made a formal request in January to place a radar base in a military area southwest of Prague and 10 interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland as part of plans for a missile defense shield that Washington says would protect against a potential threat from Iran or North Korea. The US plans, however, have raised concerns throughout much of Europe that placing bases in former Warsaw Pact countries could spark a new arms race with Russia. Moscow has strongly opposed the plans. "It's not primarily about a radar and 10 interceptors, it's mainly about expressing the willingness to defend ourselves," Topolanek told a conference in Prague Thursday.