A joint communiqué issued Saturday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) mentions that, “following contacts during the day with the American side, previous to the announcement made by the American secretary of state about new measures of defence of the US territory against potential attacks with ballistic missiles, the following matters clearly resulted: The project of the US antimissile shield that will be installed in Romania in the second stage of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) at the Deveselu base is by no means affected. It will continue as planned in the calendar agreed with the American side and will become operations on the horizon of year 2015, as it was decided initially,” reads the document, which adds that the project will be made operational without delays.The reaction comes after the USA announced Friday the decision to modify the missile shield programme and to drop the 4th phase which implied deploying advanced antimissile interceptors that worried Russia.The US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel announced that the USA made this decision in order to better protect against the potential threats from North Korea, in the context of spending cuts approved by the Congress. Hagel explained that the budget cuts approved by the Congress would have delayed Phase 4 of the shield until 2022, and the Pentagon decided to deploy on US soil the interceptors that should have been sent to Poland.Phase 4 of the American missile shield in Europe was considered by Russia as the biggest threat to its own ballistic programme. Romania’s involvement in the missile shield will take place in Phase 2. It implies hosting at the army base of Deveselu, Olt County, a number of land-based interceptors which will become operational on the horizon of year 2015. The type of interceptor that should have been deployed in Phase 4 was not slated for deployment at Deveselu.
Russia sees “no concession
”Russia sees “no concession” in the announcement made by the USA on modifying the antimissile defence system in Europe, the Russian deputy minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, quoted by Mediafax.“This is no concession to Russia,” Sergei Ryabkov said for the Russian newspaper Kommersant, adding that he sees “no connection” between the statements made at Pentagon on restructuring the shield and the objections expressed by Russia.“I see no connection between the objections of Russia over the deployment of the American antimissile shield in Europe and the statements of the American minister of Defence,” Ryabkov said. “All the aspects regarding the uncertainties related to the deployment of the antimissile shield of USA and NATO remain unchanged,” the Russian deputy minister added.The project of the antimissile shield, launched in 2010 and largely based on American technology, provides for the progressive deployment of missile interceptors and powerful radars in Eastern Europe and Turkey. The USA and NATO affirm that the system does not target Russia, but is meant to counter a threat coming from the Middle East, especially from Iran.Moscow, however, considers the shield as a threat to its security and wants to become associated in the system, or to receive guarantees that it does not target its dissuasion capacity.