Friday, May 6, 2011

Russia warns US, Romania over base

Romania has agreed to host US missile interceptors on Romanian territory

Source: Press TV

Russia has issued a warning after Romania agreed to host the US missile system site at a Soviet-built base in the country's southern town of Deveselu.

Moscow warned that the deployment of US interceptor missiles on Romanian territory comes without considering the talks between Moscow and Washington on the issue.

Earlier in the week, the US and Romania announced that elements of US missile system would be stationed at the former Romanian airbase of Deveselu.

Russia said that the planned missile system "may pose risks for Russian strategic nuclear deterrence forces in the future," Russia Today reported on Wednesday.

“We regret to say that practical steps on building the European segment of the US global missile defense system are being made regardless of the Russian-US dialogue on missile-defense issues, which was launched under the initiative of President Dmitry Medvedev and President Barack Obama,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said Washington continues to implement “the phased adaptive approach” toward building a segment of the US global missile system in Europe.

Washington announced these plans back on September 17, 2009.

Russia had warned earlier that it would take “adequate measures” if the US and NATO choose to build the European missile system without Moscow's participation.

US Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher, however, said on Wednesday that the missile system posed no threat to Russia.

“It is a system that will defend NATO and, if Russia chooses to work with us in a cooperative manner, the system will defend Russia, too," she said.

"We have good relations with Russia. We have just ratified the New START treaty, we are working together on various other issues," she told Romanian lawmakers.

Tauscher is scheduled to meet with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday.

Russia was not the only one caught off-guard by the surprise announcement of the US-Romanian decision. Reports say that Romanian officials were also unaware of the decision and the Romanian media kept mum on the issue until President Traian Basescu announced it on Tuesday night.

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