MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Moscow has received information from the US concerning the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Romania, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a Friday briefing ahead of the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2020 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
"We have received a certain amount of information and explanations about the reasons for the temporary redeployment of the THAAD system for the period of maintenance works at the missile defense facility in Romania’s Deveselu. We have taken it all into account and are currently assessing it," the senior Russian diplomat said.
According to Ryabkov, Russia "can’t understand what tasks the Aegis Ashore system will accomplish in the missile defense area." "Perhaps, the problem is that we understand missile threats differently than the US and its allies," he noted.
"It is also not clear to Russia how the US can - if it can - guarantee that the Mk-41 universal launchers included in the Aegis Ashore system won’t be used for launching surface-to-surface missiles," the Russian deputy foreign minister pointed out.
"We have many times talked about it with our American colleagues while discussing the INF [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces] Treaty, when it was still possible to make a reasonable agreement and maintain the Treaty. However, the United States’ decision to undermine the document prevailed. The Treaty is likely to cease to exist on August 2, 2019," Ryabkov concluded.
The United States European Command based in the German city of Stuttgart said earlier that the THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system would be deployed to Romania in the summer of 2019. It is expected to become part of NATO’s missile defenses and will be completely controlled by the Alliance.