Poland is ready to participate in the Obama administration's plan for a US SM-3 missile interception system in Europe, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in Warsaw Wednesday after meeting visiting US Vice President Joe Biden.
"Poland finds the new anti-missile project very interesting and important and, in the appropriate scale, we are ready to participate," Tusk said.
On Sept. 17 US President Barack Obama canceled plans to build a missile base in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic and instead proposed flexible systems to guard against Iran.
The Obama administration had proposed a reconfigured system that envisioned the deployment first of sea-based interceptors and then of land-based systems. Under this arrangement, Poland could host SM-3 interceptors targeting short and medium-range missiles.
The new anti-missile defense system would strengthen Europe's and NATO's defense, Biden said at a press briefing with Tusk.
The United States appreciated that Poland made a new step and approved plans to deploy elements of a defense plan, he stressed.
"Our anti-missile defense system ensures security in the face of a growing threat to Europe, including Poland. The US will be able now to do it more effectively than it could be done by the previous system," Biden added.
He emphasized US friendship with Poland and its obligation under Article 5 of the NATO treaty to come to Poland's defense if it were ever attacked. "Make no mistake, our commitment to Poland is unwavering," he said.
Tusk "highly appreciated" Biden's declaration that Poland was "necessary in the global plan not only as a country needing help."
"We have become a partner from whom the US expects activity and co- responsibility," he added.
Poland is the first leg of Biden's European tour scheduled for Oct. 20 to 24, followed by Romania and the Czech Republic.