The United States and Romania announced an agreement on Tuesday on the location for basing American antimissile interceptors in Romania as part of a program designed to link Washington and its NATO allies against an Iranian threat. The agreement immediately drew complaints from Russian officials.
Officials said the site selected for a key component of the missile-defense system was Deveselu Air Base, near the city of Caracal in southern Romania. The deployment of the SM-3 missiles is expected by 2015, officials said. About 200 American personnel are expected to help operate the system, according to
Russia's foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would seek defence safeguards from the United States following Romania's decision to host US interceptors for a proposed European missile defence shield.
"In this situation, US legal guarantees on their intention not to deploy a missile defence system aimed at the strategic nuclear forces of Russia is becoming even more relevant," news agencies quoted a ministry statement as saying,
"This issue should be resolved swiftly. Moreover, we are sure that it is necessary...to proceed to the coordination of the concept and the architecture of the European missile defense system as soon as possible," the statement said.
"We regretfully say that practical steps to create the European segment of the global missile defense shield of the United States are being taken with no regard to Russian-U.S. dialogue on the anti-missile issue started under the initiative of presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama, as well as to the work under the Russia-NATO Council's Lisbon Summit aimed to draft a European missile defense system," the Russian document said,