Global Independent Analytics

US, NATO Activate Missile Defense Site in Romania

The U.S. has switched on an $800 million (700 million euro) missile defense site in southern Romania Thursday, a move that has infuriated Moscow.

Voice of America reports: 

U.S. assistant secretary of state Frank Rose told a news conference in Bucharest Wednesday, "Both the U.S. and NATO have made it clear the system is not designed for or capable of undermining Russia's strategic deterrence capability."

Then he added, "Russia has repeatedly raised concerns that the U.S. and NATO defense are directed against Russia and represent a threat to its strategic nuclear deterrent. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Rose called Iran as the targeted threat saying, "Iran continues to develop, test and deploy a full range of ballistic missile capabilities and those capabilities are increasing in range and accuracy."

Russia's reaction

The chairman of the State Duma's defense committee, Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, is sure that the missile defense is for Russia.

"This is a direct threat to us,'' Komoyedov, the former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, told the Interfax news agency. "They are moving to the firing line. This is not just 100; it's 200, 300, 1,000 percent aimed against us. This is not about Iran, but about Russia with its nuclear capabilities,'' he said.

Work on the Deveselu site began in October 2013, after an initial decision by NATO in 2010 to create a missile shield based on U.S. technology. The project, which includes building sites in Poland as well as Romania, is expected to be completed in 2020.

NATO officials say that the use of the shield is only planned to respond to external threats.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA

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