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PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The Czech Republic is withdrawing from U.S. missile defense plans out of frustration at its diminished role, the Czech defense minister told The Associated Press Wednesday.
The new U.S. administration's plan calls for placing land- and sea-based radars and interceptors in several European locations, including Romania and Poland, over the next decade and upgrading them over time. As the first part of the plan, the United States in March deployed to the Mediterranean the USS Monterey, a ship equipped to detect and shoot down missiles.
"I'm not surprised by the decision," said Jan Vidim, a lawmaker in the lower house of the Czech Parliament. "The United States has been and will be our crucial strategic partner but the current administration doesn't take the Czech Republic seriously."