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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Clinton Calls U.S. Shield a Waste of Money

YALTA, Ukraine -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton has cast doubt on the effectiveness of a planned U.S. missile shield, deriding it as a "colossal waste of money."

Clinton said the defense system had created unnecessary difficulties with Russia, which denounces the plan as an attempt to undermine its defense capabilities. "My facts may be wrong, but my impression is that we are creating a crisis here when none is necessary," Clinton told a conference in the Ukrainian resort of Yalta. "I don't think the missile defense system is reliable enough to create an impact."

He suggested it was more logical to return to the reasoning of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan's long abandoned "Star Wars" projects of the 1980s intended to counter hostile missile systems. "He wanted the Russians to have it, he wanted everyone to have it," he told the conference. "Unless they work better than I think they do, it's a colossal waste of money."

The conference was organized by the Yalta European Strategy think tank. (Story, Page. 14.)

n Sixty percent of Poles oppose hosting a U.S. missile defense base in their country, according to a poll released Friday, opposition that has inched up in past weeks as Washington and Warsaw have intensified talks and Russia has warned of a new arms race, The Associated Press reported.