Insight Central Europe News

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Missile Defence: US reassures Poland on NATO and Russia co-operation

The United States has reassured Poland it will cooperate more with Russia and NATO on its plans to establish a missile defence system in Central Europe. Daniel Fried, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs told a news conference in Warsaw that Poland had urged the US to work with Russia on missile defence and that it was doing so. Washington wants to place 10 missile defense interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the neighboring Czech Republic.

Czechs call for research assistance in exchange for US bases

Meanwhile the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek says his country wants access to U.S. military research and a role in developing missile defense technology as part of any deal allowing Washington to deploy an installation near Prague.

Budapest Mayor calls for anti-National Guard protests

The Mayor of Budapest Gabor Demszky has called on leaders of political parties in the municipal assembly to protest against a demonstration by the extreme right Hungarian Guard on Friday. Mr Demszky said it is obvious the demonstration is targeted against democratic values, human rights and tolerance. The Hungarian Guard has staged several anti-Roma demonstrations in towns across Hungary. It planned to march to Budapest's eighth district after an 18-year-old student died following a fight with an allegedly Roma school-mate.

Slovenia to cut defence spending despite NATO agreement

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa says he will reduce defence spending this year, despite an agreement with NATO that it should be increased. Slovenia promised in 2004, when it joined NATO, to raise defence spending to 2% of GDP by the end of 2007. However Jansa said the government would reduce defence spending this year to cover concessions to help the poor in a period of high inflation. He gave no date for an increase in spending.

Slovakia to fund airport reconstruction from “own resources”

The Slovak Government says it will finance the reconstruction of Bratislava's International Airport from its own resources. The announcement made, after the cabinet meeting, goes against a previous statement from the transport ministry which said a "strategic investor" would be the best option.

Visegrad cooperation on agenda as Poland’s PM visits Slovakia

Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk was in Bratislava on Friday for meetings with Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic and Prime Minister Robert Fico. The talks focused on cooperation within the Visegrad Group, the future of Kosovo and development of transport connections between the two countries. US plans for an anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic were also on the agenda. Slovakia has voiced opposition to the shield.