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Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 19:11 UK

In quotes: US missile reaction

The US has announced it is shelving plans to build a missile defence system in Poland and the Czech Republic. International figures have been giving their reaction.

ANDERS FOGH RASMUSSEN, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL

It is my clear impression that the American plans on missile defence will involve Nato, as such, to a higher degree in the future, concerning the establishment of a missile defence.

I highly appreciate that - I think it is in full accordance with the principle of solidarity within the alliance and the indivisibility of security in Europe.

DMITRY MEDVEDEV, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT

[US President Barack Obama and I] agreed that the United States and Russia will strive to work together to assess the risks of missile proliferation in the world, and integrated this aspiration into our agreements, our joint statements.

We will work together to develop effective measures against the risks of missile proliferation. Measures that take into account the interests and concerns of all parties, and ensure equal security for all countries in European territory.

We appreciate the responsible attitude of the President of the United States towards implementing our agreements. I am ready to continue our dialogue.

DONALD TUSK, POLISH PRIME MINISTER

I received President Obama's words and declarations with great satisfaction. After the change in the decision on the matter of the missile shield, Poland has the opportunity to gain an exclusive position.

Our relations with the United States and the talk and negotiations are bringing effects, different ones than were expected but ones beneficial to Poland.

JOHN BOLTON, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN

I think this is a near catastrophe for American relations with Eastern European countries and many in Nato.

I think it was the kind of unilateral decision that the Bush administration was always criticised for and I think the clear winners are in Russia and Iran.

JOHN MCCAIN, US REPUBLICAN SENATOR

Given the serious and growing threats posed by Iran's missile and nuclear programmes, now is the time when we should look to strengthen our defences, and those of our allies.

Missile defence in Europe has been a key component of this approach. I believe the decision to abandon it unilaterally is seriously misguided.

This decision calls into question security and diplomatic commitments the United States has made to Poland and the Czech Republic and has the potential to undermine perceived American leadership in Eastern Europe.

KONSTANTIN KOSACHEV
HEAD OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, RUSSIAN STATE DUMA

The US president's decision is a well-thought out and systematic one. It reflects understanding that any security measure can't be built entirely on the basis of one nation. Now we can talk about restoration of the strategic partnership between Russia and the United States.

The Obama administration is starting to understand us. Russia has been waiting for this for a long time.

JAN FISCHER, CZECH PRIME MINISTER

We expect that the US will co-operate with the Czech Republic in the future on making an accompanying agreement about mutual scientific and military co-operation, including financing concrete projects.

I asked for it in my telephone conversation with the US president. President Obama assured me that US will not change its approach in this matter.

MIREK TOPOLANEK, FORMER CZECH PRIME MINISTER
Signed missile defence deal with the US

This has two dimensions. The first is a certain softer position of the US administration in negotiating with Russia.

And the second, that is bad news, they used the opportunity when this country is unstable, when it is behaving in a very untraditional and unstable way, and ended co-operation on a matter that the Obama administration considered unacceptable.

This is bad news. After 20 years of our path into Euro-Atlantic structures and our very active involvement there, the process is being halted.

LECH WALESA, FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT

I just don't like this policy. It's not because we needed this missile defence system so badly. It's all about a way of treating us. It has to change. The US can't play military policeman of the world.



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