US and Poland sign defence deal
This will not be a happy news for Russia, a preliminary deal signed by Poland witht eh US on plans to host part of the controversial US defence shiled has been signed. For the Polish it means help from the US on their air defence but why is Russia so much oppose of this deal? after all it is in Poland not Russia and Poland should be allow to make up their mind which they have today made.
The proposal is for the US to base 10 missile interceptors in Poland in exchange for help strengthening Polish air defences.
The US says the system will protect itself and Europe against long range missile attacks by "rogue states".
Correspondents say the deal is expected to heighten tension between the US and Russia, which has condemned the plans.
Moscow has said the project would upset the military balance in Europe and warned it would have no choice but to point its own missiles at the installations.
Relations between Washington and Moscow are currently strained over Russia's involvement in the conflict in Georgia.
The BBC's Adam Easton, in Warsaw, says the agreement is bound to anger the Russians, who vehemently oppose the system.
After Russia's involvement in Georgia, Polish officials said, Washington has come round to their way of thinking.
Unlike the US, Poland sees Russia as a bigger threat to its security than so-called "rogue states" such as Iran, our correspondent adds.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was reported to have cancelled a scheduled visit to Poland shortly after details of the deal with the US was made public.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk announced the agreement on national television shortly before it was signed by Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzej Kremer and US chief negotiator John Rood.
Mr Tusk said Washington had agreed to meet Warsaw's main demands in exchange for hosting the 10 interceptor missiles in a former military base near Poland's Baltic Sea coast.
In return, the US has agreed to help modernise the Polish armed forces and locate Patriot missiles and a garrison of US servicemen in Poland to beef up its air defences, Mr Tusk said.
Poland is reported to have demanded the extra security help as part of the deal after Moscow threatened to target its missiles at any eventual bases.
The US signed an agreement with the Czech Republic in July to base tracking radars there as part of the missile defence system.
The US wants the sites to be in operation by about 2012