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Putnam Calls Plan To Drop Missile Defense Shield A Mistake

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Congressman Adam Putnam today said that a plan by the Obama Administration to cease deployment of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe is a mistake that could embolden America's adversaries while sending the wrong message to U.S. allies.

"Given progress Iran continues to make in developing nuclear weapons and the increasingly belligerent tone of Russia toward its neighbors, this is a serious mistake," said Putnam. "It will signal that United States is backing down to Russian demands while leaving some of our most important allies vulnerable."

This morning, President Obama announced he would halt plans to deploy a long-range missile defense system that would be based in Poland and the Czech Republic and instead would focus on defenses against short and medium range missiles. The Eastern European allies had supported the missile defense system, but critics of the administration's decision say Russian opposition received greater consideration.

"This plan completely ignores Iran's disregard of the international community in its ongoing pursuit of long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads which would have the capability of reaching Europe," said Putnam. "In addition, by making this decision on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's invasion of Poland this sends the wrong message to our European allies about America's determination to stand with its partners in the face of intimidation."

Since 2001, Putnam has represented Florida's 12th Congressional District, which includes most of Polk County and portions of Hillsborough and Osceola counties.

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