POLITICS

USD 400 M missile defence system

Yesterday, PM Emil Boc said, as a NATO partner, Romania currently is the beneficiary of the soundest security safeguards. ‘Romania is today the beneficiary of the kind of security safeguards it has, perhaps, never had in history,’ he said.

Asked about the cost entailed by the deployment of the missile defence system, Boc answered that it would be met by the foreign partners and disclosed at the appropriate time. An American official member of the delegation negotiating the Missile defence system agreement says the deployment costs USD 400 M plus USD 20 M in annual operating expenditure not including the missiles, Mediafax reports.

Foreign Ministry Secretary of State Bogdan Aurescu who led the Romanian delegation of negotiators for the missile defence system agreement also said yesterday, in Slatina, that the US would deploy a strictly defensive system with absolutely no negative effects on the population, environment or agriculture. In addition, Aurescu denied the fact that the Romanian authorities attacked the condition of the visa waiver to allowing the missile defence system deployment. ‘It was not a trade-off <we give you the location, you give us the visa>’, Aurescu said.

Opposition commends the CSAT decision. Senate Speaker Mircea Geoana said the deployment of the missile defence system in the Olt County was an important decision in continuing the Romania-US strategic partnership, while PNL President Crin Antonescu pointed out that he was a supporter of both the defence system and US troop transit decisions. However, MEP Norica Nicolai found that the transit of US troops was fine as long as they are heading for Afghanistan, but, if they are in transit through Romania to a different destination, things will require further discussion.

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