Russia has reacted furiously to plans by the United States to deploy an interceptor missile system in Romania.

Last week, Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that his country’s Supreme Defence Council had “approved a US proposal that Romania takes part in the anti-rocket shield system”. Mr Basescu said that “terrestrial interceptors will be located inside the national territory” and that they should be operational by 2015.

Under the agreement between Washington and Bucharest, Romania will host SM-3 ship-based anti-ballistic missiles as part of the planned American defence shield to protect Europe from a missile attack from Iran.

However, the Kremlin also views the shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent. Responding to the announcement by the Romanian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We expect the United States to provide an exhaustive explanation, taking into account the fact that the Black Sea regime is regulated by the Montreux Convention” which permits naval vessels of non-Black Sea countries to remain in the Black Sea for up to 21 days only.

Dmitri Rogozin, Russia’s hardline envoy to Nato, said the SM-3 missiles constitute a threat to the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal. He warned: “The US is using Iran’s actions to globalise its system of missile defence. We need to go on the assumption that a foreign military potential is approaching our borders.”

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Russian anger as Romanians host US missiles

Russia has reacted furiously to plans by the United States to deploy an interceptor missile system in Romania.

Last week, Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that his country’s Supreme Defence Council had “approved a US proposal that Romania takes part in the anti-rocket shield system”. Mr Basescu said that “terrestrial interceptors will be located inside the national territory” and that they should be operational by 2015.

Under the agreement between Washington and Bucharest, Romania will host SM-3 ship-based anti-ballistic missiles as part of the planned American defence shield to protect Europe from a missile attack from Iran.

However, the Kremlin also views the shield as a threat to its nuclear deterrent. Responding to the announcement by the Romanian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said: “We expect the United States to provide an exhaustive explanation, taking into account the fact that the Black Sea regime is regulated by the Montreux Convention” which permits naval vessels of non-Black Sea countries to remain in the Black Sea for up to 21 days only.

Dmitri Rogozin, Russia’s hardline envoy to Nato, said the SM-3 missiles constitute a threat to the Russian strategic nuclear arsenal. He warned: “The US is using Iran’s actions to globalise its system of missile defence. We need to go on the assumption that a foreign military potential is approaching our borders.”

Read the article on Tribune

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