US: Lithuania agreed to consider missile shield

The defense chief said Lithuania could be a good alternative though he stressed that Poland remained the preferred site for the U.S. to place its 10 missile interceptors.

US: Lithuania agreed to consider missile shield

Lithuania has agreed to consider hosting a missile interceptor base if the U.S. deal with Poland falls through, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said after his talks with Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas.

The defense chief said Lithuania could be a good alternative though he stressed that Poland remained the preferred site for the U.S. to place its 10 missile interceptors.

Following the meeting, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said: "The Lithuanian prime minister indicated that his government was willing to consider hosting the interceptors, and for that the secretary expressed his appreciation."

"Our position remains the same: our preference is to work out a deal with the Poles. But prudent planning requires that we simultaneously look at backups, if necessary. Lithuania would geographically serve as a good alternative," the spokesman said.

Russia opposes the missile plans as a threat to its security and the nuclear deterrence system.

Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2008, 12:38
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