The Deveselu system is “strictly defensive”, and Russia’s arguments saying the contrary only aim to “cover” the problems this country has with respect to observing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu told Antena 3 private broadcaster on Tuesday.
“It is in fact a strictly defensive system that in no way brings harm to the provisions of the INF treaty and precisely because of that the statements made by the Russian Federation’s Defence Ministry lack any grounds, because technically speaking (…) the Deveselu system launches missiles from the ground into the air in order to intercept ballistic missiles which at some point, could possibly be the object of an aggression,” the minister said.
Melescanu added that the Deveselu missiles “can only intercept the missiles that might head to the NATO territories.”
“The main problem we are currently facing in Europe is the development of a new generation of missiles in the Russian Federation. It is about a kind of missiles dubbed 9M729, rockets that could have a range of up to 5,000 kilometers, nobody knows very well about their limits yet,” the minister said, adding that these missiles are capable to use conventional, but also nuclear load.
“This is the paramount difference between our Deveselu military base, where the system’s missiles are strictly armed with conventional destruction systems of certain rockets and cannot be used for the nuclear weapons,” Melescanu stressed.
The minister added that Russia’s statements according to which the Deveselu anti-missile system would have an offensive component are arguments intended to “cover” the issues related to observing the INF Treaty.
“We must not underestimate them. They know very well what is out there. They simply use these arguments to cover their issues in connection with their observance of the INF Treaty,” Melescanu said.
As regards the future of the Romania-Russia relation, he said it should be pragmatic, predictable, “based on the observance of the international law’s provisions and capable to lead to solutions beneficial to both sides,” since “Russia is one of the countries in our vicinity and has a very important role in security matters,” Melescanu concluded.