WASHINGTON — Weeks after the U.S. pulled the plug on a Poland-based missile defense system, Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Warsaw on Wednesday to assuage angry officials and emerged with an agreement that Poland will get an upgraded element of a missile defense.
Biden said the new system of SM-3 missile interceptors would be more modern and more effective at protecting Europe.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said after an hourlong meeting with Biden that Poland considered a plan to place the interceptors in his country "a very interesting idea. We are ready to participate in this project."
The two sides strived to smooth over differences over the Obama administration's abandonment of the earlier missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic in favor of a sea-based system, one that had pleased Russia but had upset Polish officials, who braved anger at home when they agreed to base the system in their country during the Bush administration.
"Our views are identical," Tusk said through a translator. "We have received a mutual confidence in terms of what we have agreed up until now."
Biden stressed America's commitment to Poland's security.
"Make no mistake about it, our commitment to Poland is unwavering," he said.
He also lauded Poland for sending soldiers to Afghanistan. "We are thankful, we are thankful, for your soldiers standing alongside ours in Afghanistan."
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