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(Corrects after clarification from Polish Defence Ministry to show selection of best offer to take place within months, not weeks; replaces comments from Defence Ministry spokesman)
WARSAW, March 20 (Reuters) - Poland plans to choose the best offer for a planned missile defence system within the next few months and sign a final agreement this year, the Defence Ministry said.
There are four bidders: France's Thales, in a consortium with European group MBDA and a Polish state defence group; the Israeli government; Raytheon of the United States; and the MEADS consortium led by Lockheed Martin.
The announcement came at a time of heightened East-West tension over Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula. (Reporting by Marcin Goettig)