US sets up missile shield base in Romania to Russia’s worries

Bucharest: The United States (US) on Thursday activated a land-based missile defence station in Romania, which is part of a larger European shield. The ceremony was attended by senior US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) officials.

“Fundamentally, the aegis system is a shield to safeguard NATO from short and medium range projectiles, specifically from the Middle East,” said a US official.

General Secretary of NATO Jens Stoltenberg along with other senior officers from the military alliance also attended the opening ceremony at an old Romanian airbase in Deveselu.

Highlights:

  • Russia sees this step as a security threat, which is denied by NATO.
  • Relations between Russia and the west have worsened since Moscow annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula in 2014.
  • The US is reported to have spent $800 million on radars and missile interceptors since 2013.
  • The newly-opened station will also have a battery of SM-2 missile interceptors.