US Vice President Joe Biden has arrived in Prague on the last leg of a key trip to central and eastern Europe.
He will present America’s revised missile defence
plans to the Czech Republic. They have already won backing from the countries he visited earlier, Poland and Romania.
In Bucharest, where he met President Traian Basescu, Biden repeated efforts to reassure the region that the new system will serve its security interests.
“The time for central Europe has come,” Biden said during a speech at the Central University Library.
“That is why, in America, we no longer think in terms of what we can do for central Europe but rather in terms of what we can do with central Europe.”
His trip comes after President Obama scrapped Bush-era missile defence plans opposed by Russia -elements of which would have been located in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Poland has told the US it is willing to take part in a missile defence scheme that replaces one scrapped last month.
American Vice President Joe Biden is in Warsaw as part of efforts to reassure European countries about its u-turn on a missile shield opposed by Moscow.
Biden said: “We now appreciate that Poland’s government agrees with us, that there is now a better way with new technology and new information to defend against emerging ballistic missile threats. Our new phased, adaptive approach to missile defence is designed to meet a growing threat, not only to the US but first and foremost to Europe.”
Biden has also been quoted as saying the US has no agreement with Russia at central Europe’s expense, and it will not sign any such agreement.
Polish Prime Minsiter Donald Tusk said: “We are determined to do all in our capacity for the values we share. This is why we have taken up a common effort so that our convictions can materialise.”
The US has opted for a system of interceptors that can target short and medium range missiles, and it has made it clear that Poland and the Czech Republic could still be involved in that.