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US considers alternative to Europe missile sites: report

The US government has developed possible alternative plans for a missile defence shield that could drop proposed missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

world Updated: Aug 29, 2009 12:26 IST

The US government has developed possible alternative plans for a missile defence shield that could drop proposed missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing unnamed administration officials, the newspaper said the change would please Russia and Germany but could sour relations with US allies in Eastern Europe.

Barack Obama administration officials said they hoped to complete their months-long review of the planned antimissile system as early as next month, possibly in time for Obama to present ideas to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting in New York during the annual opening of the UN General Assembly, the report said.

But they cautioned that no decisions had been made and that all options were still under discussion, the paper noted.

The Obama review team plans to present a menu of options rather than a single recommendation to a committee of senior national security officials in the coming weeks, The Times said. Only after that would the matter go to cabinet-rank officials and the president.

The paper said that among the alternatives are dropping either the Polish or Czech site, or both sites, and instead building launching pads or radar installations in Turkey or the Balkans, while developing land-based versions of the Aegis SM-3, a ship-based anti-missile system.