One of the designers of the American antimissile shield project, Romanian-American citizen Constantin Rauta slammed recent Russian criticism of the project, insisting that it will help protect Romania and all surrounding countries. Last week, Russian Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin called the US partners within NATO “sacrificial lambs” and mocked Bucharest for its part in the project, saying that Romanians like to imagine that they are important managers of the missile interceptors to be deployed here, but the Romanian commander of the base is only allowed “into the lobby.” Rogozin also said US involvement in European states’ internal affairs is a great disservice and attracts threats against these countries.
“Romania and the surrounding countries will be well protected. It seems that this is what actually bothers Russia the most. Moscow will no longer be able to blackmail its neighbours. In exchange, the system will lower the risks of a nuclear missile attack,” Rauta said in a letter to daily ‘Jurnalul National.’
The scientist underlined that he worked for almost ten years on the design and manufacturing of the SM3 system whose interceptors are to be deployed to the Deveselu airbase in southern Romania.
“The decision of my adoptive country, the United States, to make available for NATO a defence system against ballistic missiles is a correct decision that will help increase security of European states. The decision of my native country, Romania, to accept the deployment of shield components on its territory was an equally correct decision, as this is a strictly defensive system,” Rauta wrote in the letter.
He underlined that the Russian stance that such a system would threaten its sovereignty is absurd and grounded in the country’s wish to continue its “foreign policy based on threats.”
“Either if it’s threats that they will cease natural gas deliveries or real threats by directing its nuclear missiles against European countries, Moscow is constantly pursuing the same target: a policy of intimidation and threats by force,” the scientist also wrote.
Rauta defected to the United States in 1973, while in Washington to prepare technical details of Nicolae Ceausescu’s visit to the White House. He received political asylum in the US and in 2004, he was sentenced to death in Romania, ‘Jurnalul National’ said. While in the US, he worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt of Maryland for 24 years and for ten others, he was involved in the development of the ballistic missile defence system.