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February 5, 2023

Oprea: Romania will come to the shield project with a military base

National defence minister Gabriel Oprea declared on Wednesday on B1 TV that Romania will have the obligation to put at the disposal of the American party “preferably a former military base.”

“The shield is a defensive antimissile project. There are terrestrial components. The Romanian party will have the obligation to come with a base, preferably a former military base,” Oprea said. He stressed that it is impossible to speak about costs now, especially that the discussions have not started. He announced that discussions at level of experts and diplomats are following. The minister declared on Wednesday afternoon, after the hearings from the parliamentary commissions, that the antimissile shield brings protection to Romania and stressed that it is a “highly defensive” one which is not directed against Russia. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Foreign Affirs specified that all costs will be covered by the United States, while, Minister Baconschi said costs would be ‘minimal’.

Aurescu to lead negotiations

Romania’s negotiating team with the US over the missile shield project will be led by top diplomat Bogdan Aurescu, according to daily ‘Evenimentul Zilei’.

Aurescu is already managing the project, according to sources quoted by the newspaper. He will likely be officially confirmed as head of the delegation in March, when the negotiations are due to begin.

A career diplomat, Aurescu won acclaim for his role as a Romanian state representative to the Hague International Court of Justice, where he coordinated the country’s team of lawyers. In February last year, the court gave a verdict in favour of Romania. Since then, Aurescu has served as secretary of state on strategic affairs in the Foreign Ministry.

Ukraine wants to be consulted

Ukraine claims its right to be consulted when it comes to security decisions in the Black Sea region, including missile shield decisions. This is the first official reaction coming from Kiev to President Basescu’s announcement that Romania will be included in the missile shield program. At the same time, the Ukrainian Government recognizes a sovereign state’s right to solve its security problems. According to Realitatea TV, which quoted Radio Romania Actualitati, the tone of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry is moderate given the confusion that has followed the Ukrainian elections.

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