Ambassador Klemm: U.S. missile defence efforts not intended to affect strategic balance with Russia

U.S. Ambassador to Romania Hans Klemm says Washington’s missile defence efforts are not intended to affect the strategic balance with Russia and in this context, the Deveselu base represents the U.S. and Romania’s contribution to the NATO missile defence system.

“As of 2009, President Obama has constantly affirmed that the European Phased Adaptive Approach is necessary in order to protect the US and our allies from the threat represented by ballistic missiles from outside the Euro-Atlantic region. We’ve repeatedly and openly made it clear both through our policies and the deployed capacities that our missile defence efforts are not intended to affect the strategic balance with Russia. The Deveselu facility and its capabilities represent the U.S. and Romania’s contribution to the missile defence system”, says the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Bucharest in a release sent to Agerpres on Tuesday.

The clarification follows Russia’s recent call on Washington and Bucharest to give up plans to deploy MK-41 systems to the missile defence facility in Romania, Interfax reported on Monday evening.

The Mark 41 Vertical Launching System is a shipborne missile canister launching system which provides a rapid-fire launch capability against hostile threats of all types. The Vertical Launch System concept was derived from work on the Aegis 2 combat system.

Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for nonproliferation and arms control Mikhail Ulyanov made a relevant statement this Monday in remarks delivered in the First Committee at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly; the speech was posted on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry at www.mid.ru.

Ulyanov said that the planned deployment of the missile defence system to Romania represents a “serious challenge to international security” and called on the governments of the U.S. and Romania “to realize the entire measure of their responsibility for such developments and give up these plans while it is not too late.”

Romania’s Foreign Ministry: No news, accusations of INF treaty breach are ungrounded

The recent statement by head of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control with the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov does not bring anything new, while his accusations that, by the deployment of the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defence facility at Devesleu, Romania breaches the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) are ungrounded, the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) reported in a Tuesday release.

MAE says that the stances of Romania, the U.S. and NATO on the development of ballistic missile defence capabilities were openly communicated to the Russian Federation and the public at large on various occasions.

“The treaty does not apply to the development or testing of interceptors that engage air targets, such as the SM-3 type I B interceptor to be deployed at the missile defence facility at Deveselu. At the same time, the Aegis Ashore system was not and will not be tested to launch any other receptors than those used to engage air targets,” MAE adds.

It reiterates that the interceptors of the missile defence system are non-nuclear and their type cannot be changed.

“Amidst a proliferation of ballistic threats and continuing interests of state and non-state actors in testing and developing ballistic missiles, the development of NATO ballistic missile defence capabilities, which will include the European component of the US missile defence system, and consequently the Deveselu facility, is a way of consolidating collective defence at NATO level and increasing regional as well as international stability and security. This purely defensive defence capability is not aimed at the Russian Federation, as repeatedly communicated by Romania and the U.S., but at ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic space,” says MAE.

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