Bucharest.

Romania has backed a US plan that would see interceptor missiles deployed in the country as part of a missile shield to protect Europe, its president has said, Al Jazeera informs.

Traian Basescu said on Thursday that the country’s top defence body had agreed to be part of a system against „potential attacks with ballistic missiles or medium-range rockets”. The US military facilities, which would become operational by 2015, still require parliamentary approval before they can go ahead.

Basescu sought to assure Russia, which had previously condemned plans for a missile shield, that the proposed move was not a threat. „The new system is not against Russia. I want to categorically stress this, Romania [will] not host a system against Russia, but against other threats,” he said.

The Kremlin has not yet commented on Romania’s involvement, with a spokesman saying the foreign ministry would issue a statement on Friday.

A plan unveiled last September by Barack Obama, the US president, includes land-and sea-based missile systems in and around the Gulf to defend against what it says is a growing Iranian missile threat.

The US offer was brought to Bucharest by Ellen Taucher, under-secretary of state for arms control who leads a team of American experts in Romania, Basescu said.

Teodor Baconschi, Romania’s foreign minister, said the plan was first presented to Basescu during a visit by Joe Biden, the US vice-president, to Bucharest in October but was not made public.

„This became official today,” Baconschi said.

In past years, Romania’s parliament has solidly backed participation in US and Nato-led military ventures, including Romanian troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the article on Focus Information Agency (Bulgaria)

Romania ‘to host US missile shield’

Bucharest.

Romania has backed a US plan that would see interceptor missiles deployed in the country as part of a missile shield to protect Europe, its president has said, Al Jazeera informs.

Traian Basescu said on Thursday that the country’s top defence body had agreed to be part of a system against „potential attacks with ballistic missiles or medium-range rockets”. The US military facilities, which would become operational by 2015, still require parliamentary approval before they can go ahead.

Basescu sought to assure Russia, which had previously condemned plans for a missile shield, that the proposed move was not a threat. „The new system is not against Russia. I want to categorically stress this, Romania [will] not host a system against Russia, but against other threats,” he said.

The Kremlin has not yet commented on Romania’s involvement, with a spokesman saying the foreign ministry would issue a statement on Friday.

A plan unveiled last September by Barack Obama, the US president, includes land-and sea-based missile systems in and around the Gulf to defend against what it says is a growing Iranian missile threat.

The US offer was brought to Bucharest by Ellen Taucher, under-secretary of state for arms control who leads a team of American experts in Romania, Basescu said.

Teodor Baconschi, Romania’s foreign minister, said the plan was first presented to Basescu during a visit by Joe Biden, the US vice-president, to Bucharest in October but was not made public.

„This became official today,” Baconschi said.

In past years, Romania’s parliament has solidly backed participation in US and Nato-led military ventures, including Romanian troop deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read the article on Focus Information Agency (Bulgaria)

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