NATO to Grant Russia 'Written Guarantee' over Missile Defense in Europe

World | September 9, 2011, Friday // 21:02|  views

The Deveselu air base in Romania will host the interceptors of the future US/NATO missile shield in Europe, Map from google maps

NATO could issue a written guarantee that the planned US-NATO missile shield in Europe will not be directed against Russia, according to a senior Alliance official.

"It would be possible to have a statement in the long run," NATO's Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Dirk Brengelmann said when asked if NATO could provide political guarantees of non-aggression, as cited by RIA Novosti.

Brengelmann also told the Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy radio station that NATO leaders could sign the statement.

RIA Novosti points out that while U.S. officials have stated the shield is not directed against Russia, Moscow has yet to receive a written assurance. The US says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the threat of missile attacks from Iran.

Earlier this week, Turkish officials made it clear the country had agreed to host the radar of the missile defense system, which could have also been placed in Bulgaria. Bulgaria's government welcomed the announcement.

The past few months since the NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010 took a decision to adopt the project for the US missile system in Europe as an Alliance-wide shield have seen occasional reports that Bulgaria might host elements the radar of the system.

The original missile defense in Europe plan of George W. Bush administration provided for stationing interceptors in Poland and the radar station in the Czech Republic. The modification of the plan by the Obama Administration switched it to sea-borne missiles and, later on, locations in southeastern Europe. Initially, there were reports and expectations that Romania and Bulgaria will replace Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively.

In May 2011, the US State Department and Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that the interceptor missiles of the future NATO/US missile shield in Europe will be stationed at the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal, Romania.

The System employs the SM-3 interceptor (also referred to as the "Aegis Ashore System") while the deployment to Romania is anticipated to occur in the 2015 timeframe as part of the second phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) – the US national contribution to a NATO missile defense architecture.

The US Ballistic Missile Defense site is approximately 430 acres (175 hectares) and is located within the existing Romanian Air Base at Deveselu.

Deveselu is about 50 km away from the Romanian-Bulgarian border. The closest Bulgarian location is the village of Zagrazhden between the towns of Oryahovo and Nikopol.

We need your support so can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!

Tags: EPAA, air base, Deveselu, NATO, missile shield, missile defense, US, Traian Basescu, Romania, turkey, Avgustina Tsvetkova, radar system, USA, Poland, Czech Republic, Syria, Iran, Anyu Angelov, Defense Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Minister, Dirk Brengelmann


» Related Articles: