Poland is a target, says Russian general
POLAND: POLAND HAS "100 per cent" made itself a potential target for a Russian attack after agreeing to host part of a US anti-missile system, according to a leading Russian general.
Under the preliminary agreement signed on Thursday night, the US will install 10 interceptor missiles at a base in northern Poland linked to a radar station in the Czech Republic, to be used to intercept missiles fired at the US and Europe.
The Kremlin yesterday attacked the system that is scheduled to go online in 2011 and this is likely to overshadow Polish-Russian relations for many more years to come.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has cancelled a September trip to Warsaw that was, ironically, part of a strategy to improve traditionally difficult relations between the two countries.
Polish radio claims that the Kremlin has frozen all contacts with Polish institutions, including a bilateral committee investigating the 1940 Katyn massacre, when the Red Army killed almost 22,000 Polish soldiers.
"By hosting these [missiles], Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent [certain]," said Gen Anatoly Nogovitsin, deputy head of Russia's armed forces, to the Interfax news agency.
"It [Poland] has become a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority."
Other officials said the timing of the agreement - during the crisis in Georgia - confirmed Russian suspicions about the plan.
Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's Nato envoy said, "Of course the missile defence system will be deployed, not against Iran but against the strategic potential of Russia."