DUSHANBE , July 24, 2008, Asia-Plus - Most Czechs questioned in a survey oppose the deployment of a U.S. radar in the country, a pollster said on Wednesday.

According to STEM, 44% of respondents object to the plans aimed at expanding the U.S. global missile defense system to Central Europe, which Washington claims is necessary to counter possible strikes from Iran .

The U.S. plans have the support of 35% of respondents.

The poll followed the signing by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg of an agreement in Prague on July 8 on the deployment of a missile-tracking radar.

The survey, carried out on July 17, involved 1,045 people aged over 18.

The results of another survey, published by the CVVM pollster two days ago, showed that 68% of Czech respondents want a national referendum to be held on the issue and that two thirds of those polled were against the radar being deployed.

The Czech-U.S. treaty has yet to be ratified by the Czech parliament and signed by the Czech president.

The U.S. is planning to link the early warning radar in the Czech Republic with an interceptor missile base in Poland , but negotiations with Warsaw have stalled. The plans have met with strong opposition from Russia , which considers them a threat to its security and a destabilizing factor for Europe .