U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has made "no commitment" to plans for a missile defense program in Eastern Europe, despite a report on the Polish president's Web site, an Obama adviser said Saturday.
Obama spoke to President Lech Kaczynski over the phone about continuing military and political cooperation between the two countries and possibly meeting in person soon, both sides said.
Obama "had a good conversation with the Polish president and the Polish prime minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance," said Denis McDonough, Obama's senior foreign policy adviser.
However, Kaczynski's office says on its website that during the same conversation, Obama told Kaczynski that he intends to continue plans for a missile shield in eastern Europe.
Obama's adviser denied the report.
"President Kaczynski raised missile defense, but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it. His position is as it was throughout the campaign: that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable," McDonough said.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Obama also had a phone conversation and agreed to meet soon.
"During the discussion, both sides emphasized that relations between Russia and the USA are priority ones for both parties and that their positive development is crucial not only for the peoples of the two countries but also for the wider international community," a statement from the Kremlin said.
Russia has been infuriated by U.S. plans for the missile-defense installation, which includes basing missile interceptors in Poland. The interceptor rockets would be linked to an air-defense radar system in the Czech Republic.
The United States has tried to mollify Russia by stressing that the missile defense is directed at rogue states, such as Iran, and that the number of interceptors in the shield would be "easily overwhelmed" by Russian forces.
Medvedev, in his first state-of-the-nation speech since taking office this year, warned this week that Russian missiles will be deployed against the planned system.
"The Iskander missile system will be deployed in Kaliningrad region to neutralize, when necessary, the missile shield," Medvedev said. "We are also planning to use the resources of the Russian naval fleet for these purposes."
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Medvedev's announcement that Russia would deploy missiles in response to the shield is "disappointing."
Russian officials have warned that deploying the missile shield would open Poland up to an attack in the event of conflict.
Russia fears that the missile shield would blunt its nuclear deterrent.
Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman reiterated Wednesday that the missiles are not aimed at Russia and are designed as a defensive shield for U.S. allies in Europe. He said the shield is designed with the possibility of Iranian ballistic missiles in mind.