The US’s proposed anti-ballistic missile defence site in Poland will benefit all of Europe, Pentagon officials say.

The controversial proposal, which would see the US deploy an anti-missile radar base in the Czech Republic and interceptor rockets in Poland, has caused a souring of relations with Russia as the country fears the US will use the facility against it.

The US insists the venture will be used to counter the threat of a potential ballistic-missile strike from Iran.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich met at the Pentagon this week to discuss Poland’s involvement in Iraq and the proposed missile system, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell says.

Morrell says the recently elected Polish Government is getting up to speed with negotiations the previous government has made.

“They have some domestic concerns which they are trying to address,” he says.

Morrell says the proposed programme is “of vital importance, not just for us, but really for Europe, and that’s the key here”.

“Putting these interceptors in Poland does far more to benefit Europe and our allies there than it does for us,” he says.

By staff writer