Signaling a thaw in relations that had chilled under the previous Polish government, Russia and Poland said on Tuesday that they would hold consultations over plans by the US to deploy elements of a missile-defense system in Eastern Europe.
The announcement in Moscow was welcomed by the NATO military alliance, which supports talks between the countries.
"NATO would certainly welcome the greatest possible bilateral consultations on the issue of the US missile defense proposal, and not just in the NATO context," said James Appathurai, an alliance spokesman. "We need to lower the temperature on this issue and move to common ground."
In Moscow, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said the talks would be held in Warsaw early next year.
"I am happy there will be discussions over the missile defense shield," he said.
He said that the government of Polish former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski -- defeated in October by Donald Tusk -- had refused to discuss the issue with Moscow.
On taking office, the Tusk government moved quickly to improve relations with Moscow. Radoslaw Sikorski, the new foreign minister, held talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Brussels this month at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. Both agreed to start consultations over the anti-ballistic-missile shield, the Polish Foreign Ministry said.
Russia has taken a tough stance against the US plan to deploy missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic, saying it would undermine Russia's national security -- a concern Warsaw, Prague and Washington have repeatedly dismissed. They maintain that the system was conceived to protect Europe from attacks by so-called rogue states.
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,