No commitment has been given by US president-elect Barack Obama to go ahead with plans to build part of a US missile defence system in Poland, said an aide.
Little before he spoke, Polish president Lech Kaczynski’s office said that during a phone conversation between the two men, a pledge had been made.
However it has been denied by Denis McDonough, Mr Obama’s foreign policy adviser.
The US scheme is opposed by Russia, who has announced plans to deploy missiles on Poland’s border as a counter-measure.
The decision would not contribute to creating a climate of confidence or to the improvement of security, said EU leaders on Friday.
On Saturday, Poland’s president published a statement on his website, saying that Mr Obama had “emphasised the importance of the strategic partnership of Poland and the United States and expressed hope in the continuation of political and military co-operation between our countries”.
The statement added : “He also said that the missile defence project would continue.”
‘Neutralise the system’
Mr McDonough was asked about the declaration and said that though the US president-elect had had “a good conversation” with Mr Kaczynski about the American-Polish alliance and discussed missile defence, Mr Obama “made no commitment on it”.
“His position is as it was throughout the campaign, that he supports deploying a missile defence system when the technology is proved to be workable”, Mr McDonough told the Associated Press.
In the past, Mr Obama has said in order to ensure that it would be effective and not target Russia, he wants to review the plans for a missile defence system in central Europe.
But the Russian government believes the plan to locate 10 interceptor missiles in northern Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic will do exactly that, said BBC’s Adam Easton in Warsaw.
On Wednesday, during his first state of the nation address, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev said that by deploying short-range missiles in its western enclave of Kaliningrad on Poland’s border, Moscow would neutralise the system.
The shield is incapable of destroying Russian rockets, the US military insists, saying it is designed solely to guard against missile attack by so-called “rogue states”, such as Iran.