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Warsaw Says U.S. Reassures On Anti-Missile Shield

Polish President Lech Kaczynski
WARSAW (Reuters) -- U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has assured Polish President Lech Kaczynski that U.S. plans to install elements of its anti-missile shield in Poland are on track, a Polish presidential statement said on November 8.

Some Polish politicians had expressed fears that a Democratic Obama presidency might be less enthusiastic towards the plan launched by his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

"During the conversation, Barack Obama emphasised the importance of the partnership between Poland and the United States and expressed the hope that political and military cooperation would continue," said the statement, posted on Kaczynski's official presidential website.

"He [Obama] also stated that the anti-missile-shield project would be continued," said the statement, issued after the two held a teleconference late on November 7.

Poland and neighboring Czech Republic have agreed to host elements of the U.S. defense network, designed to protect against missile attacks by what Washington calls "rogue states."

Russia, which has opposed the scheme, announced on November 7 plans to install its own missile defences in its westernmost outpost of Kaliningrad as a counter-measure.

The Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad is the only part of Russian territory directly bordering Poland.