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Angela Merkel (file photo) (official site) March 16, 2007 -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Warsaw today for talks with Polish leaders.


The talks are expected to include Poland's decision to join the Czech Republic in hosting U.S. missile-defense bases aimed at protecting against possible missile launches from nations such as Iran.


Ahead of the visit, Merkel said this week that Germany prefers that the issue be settled within NATO. Merkel said she also supports an open discussion with Russia, which opposes the missile-shield plan.


In Moscow today, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov says the proposed missile-defense system could cause dependency for those it protects.


Ivanov made his comments at the Russian Federal Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom).


In an apparent reference to the United States, Ivanov said some states are trying to "lure their allies under a antimissile umbrella," which could turn into an "antimissile addiction."


Ivanov said it is then impossible to "get off this needle."


(AP, dpa, Interfax)

The Proliferation Threat

The Arak heavy-water plant in central Iran (Fars)

BENDING THE RULES. Henry Sokolski, executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, told an RFE/RL-Radio Free Asia briefing on January 9 that the West is hamstrung in dealing with Iran and North Korea because of the way it has interpreted the international nonproliferation regime to benefit friendly countries like India and Japan.


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Listen to the entire briefing (about 90 minutes):
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