The United States and Poland have agreed to establish a ballistic missile interceptor site in Poland. The Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement was signed in Warsaw, August 20th, by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Also taking part in the signing ceremony was Poland's President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.
The agreement is an important step in efforts to protect the United States, Poland, and all NATO member nations from the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles -- missiles of increasingly greater range, lethality, sophistication, and potentially armed with weapons of mass destruction. The ballistic missile interceptor site would provide a defensive capability to protect Europe and the United States against longer-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East, and will be linked to other U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe and the United States.
The agreement will make a substantial contribution to NATO's collective security and will be an integral part of any future NATO-wide missile defenses.
After signing the ballistic missile defense agreement, the U.S. and Poland issued a Declaration on Strategic Cooperation between the two countries. The Declaration affirms the commitment of the United States to the security of Poland and of any U.S. facilities located on the territory of Poland.
The Declaration makes clear the intention of the U.S. and Poland "to enhance their security through political-military cooperation, information sharing, and defense industrial and research and technology cooperation." Beginning in 2009 the U.S. will deploy a Patriot air and missile defense battery in Poland. In addition, the U.S. remains committed to assist Poland with the modernization of its armed forces.
The Declaration on Strategic Cooperation Between the United States and Poland states that both countries "share a history of close ties between our people and our values, a commitment to democracy, a close defense relationship, and a willingness to confront common dangers and threats."