News / Europe

Groundbreaking Ceremony for US Missile Defense Facility Held in Romania

Groundbreaking Ceremony for US Missile Defense Facility Held in Romaniai
X
October 29, 2013 4:44 AM
US defense plans for Europe also call for facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland, with missile defense radar deployed in Turkey.
Groundbreaking Ceremony for US Missile Defense Facility Held in Romania
Zlatica Hoke
Romania and the United States have inaugurated a military site that will be part of the NATO missile defense system that protects Europe from attack. Russia has vigorously opposed having a U.S. missile system so close to its borders, and a Russian analyst told VOA that Moscow is sure to retaliate. 
 
The land-based missile defense facility is located in a former air base near Deveselu village, 180 kilometers east of Romania's capital, Bucharest. U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller attended the groundbreaking ceremony there on Monday.
 
"When phase two is completed here in the 2015 time frame, Europe will be safer, U.S. forces will be better protected, Romania will be safer, and the NATO alliance will be stronger," said Miller.
 
Romanian President Traian Basescu also attended the ceremony.
 
"Romania enters the club of NATO member states that will ensure one of the most perfect solutions to protect European and American citizens against the real threat represented by an attack with ballistic missiles," said Basescu.
 
U.S. defense plans for Europe call for facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland, with missile defense radar deployed in Turkey. U.S. and NATO officials have said the system is intended strictly for protection of Europe from possible attacks by Iran or North Korea.
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vigorously opposed the plan over the years, saying it undermines Russia's deterrence capabilities.
 
"We think that there is no reason for placing an anti-missile system in Europe. And our military experts believe that this system will cover the territory of the Russian Federation up to the Urals," said Putin.
 
NATO defense plans have been modified several times to allay Russia's concerns, but the United States has rejected Moscow's demands for legal guarantees that U.S defense facilities in Europe would not target Russia's nuclear deterrence forces.
 
Russia analyst Peter Eltsov told VOA that most people in Russia think the U.S. missile system is aimed exclusively against their country.
 
"The majority of Russian people today are also, I think, convinced that this is not against Iran or this is not against North Korea because it's on the Russian border.  So many people in Russia actually will support some kind of response on the side of Putin and his government," said Eltsov.
 
Officials in Moscow have said they will respond very "sharply" to any U.S. deployment near Russia's borders or shores.  Eltsov says verbal rebukes are likely to be followed by political and military moves.
 
"They may try to increase military presence in Kaliningrad, which is closest to Europe. They may also try to do something with southern American countries which are not friendly to the U.S. government -- some joint military effort. And of course, it may have some effect on the Russian policy in Syria - more support for [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad, and more support for any anti-American regimes in the world," explained Eltsov.
 
The development of the U.S. and NATO anti-ballistic defense system is planned in four phases, with the last one slated for completion in the 2020 time frame.

You May Like

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

At Boston Bombing Hearing, Sides Spar Over Boat

At final pre-trial hearing, lawyers for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prosecutors disagree on whether vessel where he hid from police can be shown to jurors More

Iran Judiciary 'Picks' Lawyer for Detained WP Reporter

Masoud Shafii has been attempting to secure official recognition as Rezaian’s attorney, but is not allowed to see his client in prison More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More