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BRUSSELS, May 12. /TASS/. The deployment of NATO’s missile defense base in Romania is creating considerable risks to Russia’s security, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Thursday, commenting on putting on combat duty of a NATO missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania.
"Putting into operation of the Deveselu base is another step in the series of measures creating considerable risks to the Russian Federation’s security," he told Russian reporters. "The commissioning of the American missile defense base in Romania should be considered not in isolation, but in complex with other US and NATO actions that have negative consequences for strategic stability and international security. In particular, it is necessary to take into account the full range of the US efforts aimed at the creation of a global missile defense system with an active and partially mobile European segment. In addition to the ground-based Aegis Ashore systems, it includes sea platforms that are now actively advanced to the waters adjoining Russia," the Russian ambassador said.
"We also cannot ignore the strategic coupling of the American anti-missile project with the so-called ‘Prompt Global Strike’ program and Washington's desire to maintain a free hand in the possible deployment of weapons in outer space. In addition, by deploying at the Aegis Ashore facilities the universal launchers Mk 41 (Mark 41), capable of launching medium-range missiles, the United States seriously undermines the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty," he said.
"The deployment of anti-missile bases in Poland and Romania also cannot be separated from the general military activity of NATO member countries on the "eastern flank" of the alliance, which resulted in the NATO military infrastructure moving closer to Russian borders. It is clear that these measures in no way can be detached from the alliance’s obligations on non-deployment of permanent additional substantial combat forces in Eastern Europe, which is fixed in the Founding Act on Mutual Relations between NATO and Russia. The stationary permanently combat-ready missile defense systems that are being deployed in the region fully meet the criteria of permanence and military significance," Grushko said.
"The declarative assurances that the US and NATO missile defense system is not targeted against Russia cannot convince us. We can see their value by the example of the US and NATO unwillingness in any way to take into account the achieved international agreements on the Iranian nuclear program during the allegedly ‘adaptive’ alignment of the missile defense system. Notably, the so-called ‘Iranian nuclear threat’ had earlier been presented as the main incentive for its creation", he said.
A special ceremony confirming the operational readiness of the US ground-based missile defense system Aegis was held at the military base in Deveselu, Olt county, in southern Romania on Thursday. The missile defense base there is located at an area of 175 hectares; it comprises a radar station, the missile batteries’ operations control center and Mk 41 mobile batteries with the SM-3 (Standard-3) interceptor missiles.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has said more than once that Russia regards the deployment of Mk 41 launchers in Romania as a violation of the 1987 INF Treaty, because the Mk 41 is a dual purpose launcher. US ship-based systems of this type are capable of launching both interceptor missiles and medium-range cruise missiles Tomahawk.