Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Romania and Poland that they could find themselves in the sights of Russian missiles because they are hosting the American anti-ballistic missile system, considered a threat by Moscow, Reuters informs.
Putin reiterated his warning about the missile shield system in Romania, accusing that although Moscow repeatedly warned it would take retaliatory steps, Washington and its allies ignored the warnings.
Earlier this month, the anti-ballistic missile system in Deveselu became operational, work on a similar system going ahead in Poland too.
“If yesterday in those area of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the crosshairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” Putin stated on Friday in Athens, at a joint press conference with Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras.
“It will be the same case with Poland,” the Russian leader warned.
Putin did not specify what measures Russia is planning, but insisted that Russia would not be making the first move and will only respond to moves by Washington. “We won’t take any action until we see missiles in areas that neighbour us,” Putin added.
He rejected claims that the anti-ballistic missile system is necessary to defend against Iran, pointing out that the argument makes no sense since a nuclear agreement was reached with Iran last year.
Missiles launched by the anti-ballistic missile shield could easily hit any Russian city, Putin explained.
“How can that not create a threat for us?” the Russian leader asked.
He invoked Russia’s frustration in this case, explaining that Russia’s concerns about the missile shield are not being considered.
“We’ve been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond… Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us,” Putin argued.
NATO’s plan to install anti-ballistic elements in Romania and Poland has been from the start a source of tensions with Moscow. Russia believes the military system is targeting her, despite the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance has given assurances that the system is meant to deal with the ballistic capabilities of countries such as Iran and North Korea.
The American missile shield in Deveselu became operational on May 12. The missile shield is located 180 km from Bucharest, at Army Base 99 in Deveselu commune, Olt County. The system has 24 SM-3 interceptors and activates when fixed or mobile radars detect a hostile ballistic missile launch. The base’s technical capabilities include a powerful radar, missile interceptors and communications equipment.
MAE: Repeated distortion of realities maintains tense atmosphere. Russian President’s stance could be interpreted as threat to regional security
The Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) reacted on Saturday to Vladimir Putin’s statements, pointing out that “the repeated distortion of these realities serves only to maintain a tense atmosphere, in contradiction to the spirit of openness expressed by Romania and her Allies on the missile defence issue.”
MAE states that the position expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Romanian missile shield issue could be interpreted as “a threat to regional security.”
“The Foreign Affairs Ministry expresses its surprise in what concerns the position expressed by the President of the Russian Federation on May 27, in Athens, on the missile defence system in Romania. This position reveals the ignoring of the real situation that both Romania and its Allies repeatedly explained in what concerns the purely defensive character of the missile defence system. At the same time, it could be interpreted as a threat to regional security,” a communique remitted by the MAE to Mediafax reads.
The Romanian Foreign Ministry also points out that Romania repeatedly showed that the missile shield in Deveselu is not targeting Russia, and that the distorting of reality maintains a tense atmosphere.
“We reiterate that the provisions of the bilateral agreement between Romania and the U.S. in the missile defence domain strictly regulate the defensive character of the system in Deveselu and its conformity with the provisions of the UN Charter. MAE reiterates that this system does not target the Russian Federation or any other state. The repeated distortion of these realities only serves to maintain a tense atmosphere, in contradiction to the spirit of openness shown by Romania and her Allies on the missile defence issue. Moreover, placing this topic within the regional security framework is surprising, considering that the causes of the preoccupying regional security developments registered in recent years are well known,” the aforementioned source points out.
Basescu: Putin has stooped down to the level of a propagandist. Mr. Iohannis, no reaction to the threats?
Ex-president Traian Basescu labelled Vladimir Putin’s statements about Romania as “deceitful threats,” pointing out Putin has stooped down to the level of a propagandist and that President Iohannis, Premier Ciolos and Foreign Minister Comanescu should have a reaction.
“Vladimir Putin is a leader that one has to take into account. Unfortunately for his prestige, on May 27, in Athens, he made a statement that sees him stooping down to the level of a simple propagandist, stating, and I quote, ‘if yesterday in those area of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the crosshairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,’ adding that ‘it will be the same case with Poland,’ according to Reuters. This is categorically a message for the population and not for well-informed politicians,” Basescu wrote on his personal Facebook page.
The former head of state added that well-informed politicians know very well that strategic industrial sites, urban sprawls and military sites in Romania became possible targets for the Russian Federation’s armed forces immediately after Romania joined NATO.
“The fact that a missile defence system is being developed in Romania and Poland, for the two countries as well as the European space, is only a response, a defensive reaction, a reaction of deterring potential aggression from the Russian Federation. Why did Vladimir Putin want to stoop down to the level of a propagandist whose goal is to misinform Romanians? President Iohannis, Prime Minister Ciolos, Minister Comanescu, really no reaction to Vladimir Putin’s deceitful threats?” Basescu added.