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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs