The United States and Romania have reiterated on Friday the commitment to enhancing bilateral ties and working to strengthen security in the Euro-Atlantic area on the occasion of a ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to mark the technical capability of the Aegis Ashore site at Deveselu military base.
“ In the context of their Strategic Partnership, the United States and Romania are pleased to announce today that major military components of the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense System (AAMDS) in Romania, a key element in Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), are completed and have been handed over to the operational commander for future integration into the NATO Ballistic Missile Defense architecture,” reads the U.S.-Romania Joint Statement issued on the occasion marking the technical capability of the Aegis Ashore facility.
“Delivery of this capability signals a significant increase in ballistic missile defense capability and defensive coverage for southern and central NATO Europe against short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats emanating from outside the Euro-Atlantic Area. Reaching today’s achievement is indicative of the close cooperation between the United States and Romania and the two countries’ shared commitment to regional stability and security. This announcement underlines the breadth and depth of our strategic partnership in this the 135th year of our bilateral relations,” the Deveselu Declaration shows.
According to the U.S.-Romania Joint Statement, EPAA Phase II enhances existing U.S. and NATO capabilities with upgrades to the Aegis BMD system, a more advanced version of the Standard Missile-3 interceptor, and the addition of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense site (also referred to as the Aegis Ashore) at Deveselu.
“These enhancements build upon previously completed efforts for NATO BMD architecture including the placement of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey, a NATO command and control network operated from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, and BMD-capable multi-mission Aegis ships home-ported in Rota, Spain. Today’s announcement follows extensive military construction, equipment installation, and testing activities at Deveselu. EPAA contributes substantially to NATO’s collective security as an integral part of NATO BMD”.
“Romania and the United States cooperate successfully across a broad spectrum of security efforts, including through Operation Atlantic Resolve, and in other exercises and missions across the globe. Within this context, Romania periodically hosts U.S. European Command and its service components to jointly conduct training exercises with military forces from the Central European and Black Sea regions,” concludes the U.S.-Romania Joint Statement issued to mark the technical capability of Deveselu facility.
Lazar Comanescu: Deveselu antimissile system to strenghten national security
Romania’s Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu stated on Friday that the Deveselu antimissile defence system will strengthen national security and that Romania’s participating in the defence against missiles represents “a strategic commitment endorsed by the entire political spectrum and the majority of population.”
“The Deveselu antimissile facility has all necessary components to fulfil its mission, earning thus the technical capability for activation. In perspective, the antimissile facility at the Deveselu military base will be integrated within NATO’s antimissile defence capability by next year’s allied summit in Poland. (…) In Romania’s case, the antimissile system will strengthen national security, both directly by means of ensuring the protection of the national territory, as well as indirectly, given the system’s deterrence role,” Comanescu stated during a ceremony held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) marking the declaration of the technical capability of the US Aegis Ashore antimissile facility at the Deveselu military base.
The head of Romanian diplomacy noted that Romania’s participation in this project also reflects the excellent state of the relation between Bucharest and Washington.
“From our country’s perspective, participating in the antimissile defence represents a strategic commitment endorsed by the entire political spectrum and by the majority of population. Moreover, it reflects the superior level of the bilateral relations with the US, at the anniversary of 135 of bilateral relations, and consolidates, at the same time, Romania’s profile within the North-Atlantic Alliance. We enjoy thus an excellent materialization of the security dimension of the Strategic US-Romanian partnership we want to extend to other sectors, particularly the economic one,” the minister said.
Lazar Comanescu reiterated that the Deveselu system is not directed at the Russian Federation and that it has a defensive role.
“I want to insist on the exclusively defensive character of the antimissile defence. The final declarations of the high level NATO summits, as well as declarations by US and Romania underlines with clarity the fact that the antimissile defence is defensive and targets antimissile threats from outside the Euro Atlantic area. I would like to reiterate forcefully and clearly: the antimissile system is not directed at the Russian Federation. The system’s development was conducted transparently and in a predictable manner, and will be used exclusively for legitimate defence purposes, in agreement with the UN Charter provisions and those of international law,” Lazar Comanescu stated.
U.S. Ambassador Klemm: Deveselu system is NOT directed at Russia, nor does it have the capability to threaten Russia
Today we are here to celebrate an important milestone for the ballistic missile defense site at Deveselu, Romania. Our partnership on Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, the United States’ and Romania’s contribution to NATO’s missile defense, is the ideal example of why bilateral military relations between the U.S. and Romania are outstanding, the U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm told the ceremony.
He reminded that early in President Obama’s tenure the President adapted the U.S. approach to missile defense in Europe to meet evolving threats.
Ambassador Hans Klemm also reminded that in February 2010, Romania accepted the administration’s offer to host Phase II of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, and by September 2011, the United States and Romania signed our ballistic missile defense agreement, which was ratified by the Romanian parliament in December 2011.
“In October 2013, just barely two years ago, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Jim Miller and Romanian President Traian Basescu broke ground on the site at Deveselu.
Since that time Romanian and U.S. officials have worked tirelessly to ensure that military construction on the site was completed on time. I’m happy to report that this ceremony today marks that all major military construction on the base, that is everything necessary for operating the system, is complete and functioning, and that the project came in under-budget, thanks in no small part to the excellent cooperation we received from the Government of Romania,” Ambassador Klemm added.
He praised the efforts done in this respect by previous Minister of Foreign Affairs Bogdan Aurescu. “I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Romania’s primary negotiator during this process, your previous Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu. Ambassador Aurescu, thank you for all your efforts on this”.
“We now move on to the next phase of operational testing and evaluation, in preparation for its Initial Operating Capacity declaration as well as the NATO integration process,” Hans Klemm told the ceremony.
Ambassador Klemm pointed out that this system is only meant to counter threats originating from outside Europe.
“As Ambassador Comanescu said, It is NOT, I repeat, NOT directed at Russia, nor does it have the capability to threaten Russia. We have explained this to Russia on numerous occasions. We have also offered to work with Russia to help alleviate their concerns and, if they desire, to ensure the safety of all our citizens from ballistic missiles originating from outside the Euro-Atlantic sphere”, the U.S diplomat added.
Defence Minister Motoc: Deveselu missile shield, most important Romanian-US strategic project
The missile shield at Deveselu undoubtedly is the most important bilateral Romanian-U.S. strategic project, National Defence Minister Mihnea Motoc said at a Friday ceremony held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs marking the declaration of the technical capability of the U.S. Aegis Ashore anti-missile facility at the Deveselu military base.
According to him, hosting missile defence elements once again confirms the active profile Romania has assumed as early as since joining NATO. He underscored that the Romanian side honoured all the pledges made on this project as scheduled.
“The current strategic mutations in the European and global security climate have naturally generated the consolidation of the cooperation among the allies, both in enforcing the plan for increasing NATO operating capability and in what we hope and expect to be the firm confirmation of its strategic adjustment at Warsaw summit. It has proved essential for Romania that the strengthening of this multilateral component should be complemented by boosting the cooperation with the United States as part of the strategic partnership between our two nations. The anti-missile system at Deveselu undoubtedly is the most important bilateral Romanian-U.S. strategic project. The facility contributes to the security of Romania and of the U.S. as well in a concrete and tangible manner”, Motoc said.
The minister stressed Deveselu is one of the most modern military units managed by the Defence Ministry, which invested in it almost 11.2 million dollars, to which add resources mustered from other parts of the state budget for the support infrastructure.
“We are at this point thanks to a genuine team effort of the Romanian and American officials and experts, begun and continued in such a manner since 2010. I welcome the vision and support of the Department of State and the Pentagon, and the involvement of the U.S. Europe Command as essential in this move. Today we close an important phase, but we also look towards the future, firstly so as to continue the modernisation of the infrastructure at Deveselu, at highest NATO standards. Secondly, the U.S. anti-missile system is to be accredited and become completely operational in next May, thus marking the completion of the second phase of the development of its European component”, Motoc said, according to Agerpres.