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US, Romania break ground on missile defense system

Published time: October 28, 2013 12:15
Edited time: October 30, 2013 09:53
 Romanian army personnel stand next to the US and Romanian flags during the inauguration ceremony of the location for installing US anti-missile shields at Deveselu air unit, some 240 km southwest of Bucharest on May 3, 2011. (AFP Photo)

Romanian army personnel stand next to the US and Romanian flags during the inauguration ceremony of the location for installing US anti-missile shields at Deveselu air unit, some 240 km southwest of Bucharest on May 3, 2011. (AFP Photo)

The US and NATO have begun revamping a military base in Romania which will be a crucial part of the American-led anti-missile shield in Europe. The NATO missile defense system remains a bone of contention in US-Russian relations.

Romanian President Traian Basesku and US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Aegis Ashore missile defense system at Deveselu military base in southern Romania on Monday.

"Construction of the base in Deveselu, as noted by [US] Minister of Defense Chuck Hagel, has begun despite a lack of mutual understanding on the issue with Russia,"
Romania's Minister of Defense Mircea Dusa said.

Dusa said Romanian construction workers were first tasked with converting the former Air Force base, and then the US campaign to install the missile defense systems would begin.

Earlier this month, Pentagon spokesman George Little said the “system represents an important component of the larger European Phased Adaptive Approach and is expected to be operational in 2015."

The issue of the US missile shield in Europe has been a longstanding bone of contention in Russia-US relations. Moscow has demanded legal guarantees from Washington that missile defense systems deployed in Europe would not target Russia's strategic nuclear deterrence capabilities. Washington has refused to grant Russia such assurances, citing a need to protect Europe from ‘rogue states' like Iran and North Korea.  

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "missile defense remains a burning issue," adding that Russia’s position is well-known.

"We are ready for a constructive dialogue with the US and NATO and are open to finding a compromise, but let's not pretend that the incessant talks that there is nothing within the scheme of the American-led ABM that needs to be changed, nor that it’s not against Russia,  that all this talk can somehow settle things,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said Russia is interested in strengthening all aspects of strategic stability, regional stability the neutralization of threats through political and diplomatic means.

Earlier this month, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said there is yet to be mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and NATO on the issue of the missile defense program, as not all the security concerns of Russia are being taken into account by its partners.

A bilateral agreement to deploy missile interceptors inside Romania was signed at the Pentagon one day after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The planned interceptors include the land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system.

Romania’s participation in the NATO missile defense system will constitute the second phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), which initially consisted of four stages.

On September 17, 2009, however, US President Barack Obama announced that the planned deployment of long-range missile defense interceptors and equipment in Poland and the Czech Republic had been scrapped, and that defense against short- and medium-range missiles using AEGIS warships would be deployed instead.

The first part of this revised system – an early warning radar station in Malatya, Turkey – went operational in January 2012. Apart from Romania, other elements of the system will be built in Portugal, Poland, and Spain.

Comments (33)

 

Bogdan George 21.11.2013 07:20

rationalbeing200: The russians fled to Romania jsut to eliberate the bulgarians,thats all because u were afraid that the Otomans grew up so much and they were so powerful.
U came and begged romanians for HELP ,thats the truth.Uhave to be i..ot to belive what u are saying.We the romanians ALL THE TIME WE FOUGHT ALONE against the russians,hungarians, serbs, otomans.Nobody was there to help us i...t russian.I dont know who told u that the romanins they were eeliberate by u but is just another big russian lie.I THINK IS BETTER IF U RETURNED THE ROMANIAN GOLD (106 T),and let the smart ones to speak about history. u are zero

 

Shawn Gremminger 30.10.2013 01:59

Russia already has a ABM defense. Why cant the US?

 

Gabi T 29.10.2013 04:59

rationalbeing2 007 28.10.2013 23:39

Gabi T-get your fact correct.

  

and what is not correct in all what i said?...did you guys return the gold to the owners??...no...ther efore you can be called thieves...
'..Ro mania got independence from ottoman muslim empire for russia...'....you're wrong...in 1877/78
your 'grand' duke nikolai almost got his a s s kicked at Plevna so he asked the romanians to send the army to get him out of trouble...guess what...Osman Pasha surrender to a romanian colonel not to a russian one...
and the thanks for our help was ocupying the south of basarabia...

View all comments (33)
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