Accessibility links

Poland: Solidarity Objects To Missile Deal

Warsaw, 14 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Poland's Economy Ministry announced today that Economy Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek signed an agreement yesterday with Israel. The accord deals with industrial, technological and commercial cooperation involving Israeli avionics and anti-tank missiles for Polish Huzar helicopters.

The accord was signed just days before the outgoing cabinet is due to leave office.

Ever since last month's parliamentary elections, the victors, the Solidarity Electoral Action, had appealed to Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz to delay the decision on the choice of missiles for the Polish antitank helicopter.

The Polish news agency PAP quoted Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski said today he considers the agreement invalid.

Cimoszewicz commenting today said the outgoing cabinet has not yet discussed the deal and that the next government will have to decide whether to approve the deal. He told Polish Radio that if the new government fails to approve the deal, Poland would not have to pay compensation to the Israeli side.

Reuters says the deal may be worth around $800 million. Israel's Elbit Ltd with state missile manufacturer Raciborska Fabryka Kotlow have been competing against a consortium led by the U.S. Boeing Company for the deal.