29 January 2007: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today condemned US plans to site US missile defence facilities in central Europe: interceptor missiles in Poland, and a radar system in the Czech Republic. CND described it as a ‘provocative’ step. The missile system is described as ‘defensive’ because it is intended to shoot down incoming missiles, but is widely seen as offensive because possession of such a system allows a country to launch attacks without fear of retaliation.
Condemning the proposal to site the missiles in Central Europe, Kate Hudson, Chair of CND, said, ‘In an already tense world, such a step will have a negative impact on western relations with Russia. Russia has already expressed alarm about such an action, seeing themselves as the main target for the system. The widely accepted consequence of this missile defence system is that it provokes a new nuclear arms race as nations seek a way to get around it or through it. And any site that is part of this missile defence system will make that country a target for any potential enemy.’
A coalition of organisations, called No to Bases, which is opposed to US plans for a missile defence site in the Czech Republic, will be holding a protest march in Prague on the evening of Monday 29th January from Wenceslas Square to the US Embassy to the Czech government offices.
Ms Hudson also pointed out the risk to Britain as a result of the US missile defence system. She said, ‘The Fylingdales and Menwith Hill bases are already part of this system. This puts the people of Britain at risk – indeed it puts them on the front line in a future war. The US must call a halt to this dangerous and provocative system.’
CND, the Stop the War Coalition, and the British Muslim Initiative are organising a national demonstration in London on Saturday 24th February, calling for ‘No Trident’ and ‘Troops Home from Iraq.’ It is expected to be Britain’s largest anti-nuclear demonstration in decades.
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. An ICM poll from June 2006 showed that 81% of the British public believes that any decision on Trident replacement should be made by Parliament, not the Prime Minister alone.
3. According to a July 2006 ICM poll, 59% of the British public opposes a replacement of Trident when presented with a cost of at least £25 billion.
4. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.