Visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated here Thursday Moscow's opposition to U.S. plans to place a missile defense base on Polish soil.
"We don't see any threat from Poland," Lavrov said after meeting with Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski. "But we see a threat to Russian's security as a result of the American strategic system drawing closer to our borders."
"Russia has not changed its position on the deployment of elements of U.S. shield in Eastern Europe," Lavrov stressed at a press conference with Sikorski.
"We cannot ignore the fact that the missile elements are part of the U.S. defense system," Lavrov said.
The United States and Poland formally signed here on Aug. 20 an agreement to deploy parts of the U.S. global missile shield in the East European country.
Russia objects the anti-missile shield plan, saying it will threaten Russian national security. Moscow has warned that it will target its missiles at the system if it is deployed in Poland.
The two ministers also talked about Georgia, NATO and strengthening Polish-Russian relations regarding the movement of people and trade, according to Polish news agency PAP.
When asked about Russia's stance on Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO, Lavrov emphasized that Moscow's opinion of NATO remains the same and forceful integration into the bloc does more harm than good. "Artificial integration of new states into NATO is harmful," he said.
Sikorski, for his part, stressed he was glad Lavrov's visit was taking place as planned. "I think that this is a proof that our two countries are open to dialogue and to conduct diplomacy, even in the period of greater international tension," he added.
The Polish foreign minister said talks with Lavrov were fruitful and added they agreed on many details. He also said the Forum of Polish-Russian dialogue would continue to hold meetings and a commission for difficult issues would meet in October.
"I am convinced that the talks helped me better understand Russia's position and owing to this Poland would be able to co-shape EU's and NATO's policy towards Russia in a competent way," Sikorski said.
He added that during his meeting with Lavrov he confirmed readiness to discuss "confidence building measures" in connection with the U.S. plans to deploy elements of an anti-missile shield in Poland.
Sikorski announced that Polish and Russian deputy foreign ministers would soon meet to discuss details.