The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018, the U.S. and Poland said in a joint statement on Thursday.
"The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective of September 15, 2011," the statement said.
The system will be located at the Redzikowo military base, the statement added, calling it "a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability."
Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat.
NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the threat of missile attacks from Iran.