WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) released the following statement today regarding the Obama Administration’s decision to abandon plans for missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“The Administration has been carefully reviewing missile defense options and announced a phased, adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe. This strategy is based on numerous factors, including consideration of the effectiveness of various military security options, costs, threat assessments and support from our NATO allies. This new approach has major significance not only for Poland and the Czech Republic and their neighbors, but for the wider relationship of the United States to all of Europe. I continue to support strong U.S. engagement with all the countries that have a vested interest in regional security and reaffirm our strong commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbors,” Chairman Cardin said.
“The decision having been made, I trust the Administration offered strong assurances to our NATO allies regarding America’s commitment to their security as provided for in the North Atlantic Treaty and will back up its words with actions. The U.S. Helsinki Commission, with our long-standing commitment to Central and Eastern Europe spanning more than three decades, looks forward to further information about this particular decision. The Commission is committed to see human rights and democracy at the core of U.S. policy. We are equally committed to a strong and vibrant relationship between the United States and other OSCE participating States,” Co-Chairman Hastings said.