WARSAW (Reuters) - Almost half Poland’s population supports a U.S. decision to scrap a planned anti-missile system partly based on their soil, a survey published on Saturday showed.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was scrapping Bush-era plans to build missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic, and instead proposed more flexible defense systems to protect against Iran.
The survey published in the daily Rzeczpospolita by polling firm GFK showed 48 percent of Poles believed the decision was good for Poland, while 31 percent had the opposite view.
A total of 58 percent said the move would have no impact on Poland’s security.
Political analysts say the economy is a far bigger priority than missile defense for Polish and Czech voters.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s center-right, pro-EU government never embraced missile defense as keenly as its more conservative predecessor led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski which it ousted in 2007.
When asked how they interpreted Obama’s decision, 40 percent of Poles in the survey said it was a concession to Russia.
Russia had fiercely opposed plans to deploy the shield in a
region it had dominated until the fall of communism in 1989.
Writing by Karolina Slowikowska; Editing by Charles Dick