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U.S. missile shield completes installation in Romania

BUCHAREST, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) — A U.S. missile shield in Romania’s Deveselu military base is technically ready as a ceremony in the Romanian Foreign Ministry on Friday marks its completion.

The Deveselu antimissile defence system will strengthen national security and that Romania’s participation in this project reflects the excellent state of the relation between Bucharest and Washington, Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu told the ceremony.

In his turn, U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm reiterated that the antimissile system at Deveselu was set up exclusively against threats coming from outside Europe, it’s not directed at the Russian Federation and it does not possess the ability to threaten Russia.

Yet, Moscow has been at odds with Washington over the issue of missile defence for years. Russia sees the shields as a direct threat.

Also attending the event were Romanian Defense Minister Mihnea Motoc, director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Vice Admiral James D. Syring and NATO Assistant Secretary General Patrick Auroy.

The Deveselu base is the first to feature the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system, a land-based version of the sophisticated radar-tracking system installed on U.S. warships since 2004.

The anti-missile base is equipped with a SPY-1 radar system and a vertical-launch missile system armed with long-range SM-3 missiles.

Located in an old Romanian air base on the border with Bulgaria, construction of the missile shield began two years ago.

A site in Poland is scheduled to become operational by 2018.


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