- - Friday, December 18, 2015

On Friday, NATO activated its first land-based AEGIS missile defense system at Deveselu, a former Soviet base in southern Romania. A second, similar system is scheduled to become active in 2018 in Poland. AEGIS has been installed onboard U.S. Navy ships since 2004.

Patrick Auroy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment spoke at the activation ceremony in Bucharest today. “NATO AEGIS Ashore will significantly enhance NATO’s ballistic missile defense and represents a core element for making possible our ambition to declare a new level of Operational Capability at the Warsaw Summit next year.

NATO’s planned missile defense capability will not constitute a shield protecting us against every threat all the time. But through of range of systems, NATO can complicate the calculations of potential adversaries by making them think twice before attacking or even threaten to attack.”

Russia has been very vocal in showing its displeasure at NATO installing a missile defense capability in Europe. “Specialists’ evaluations show that the US anti-missile defense systems that are currently being installed will not be able to withstand an intense attack carried out by Russian strategic units,” Gen. Sergei Karakaev, the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Troops, said on Wednesday, reported BIRN. In October, Russia warned Romania to stop work on the missile defense site ‘before it was too late.’

“The anti-missile system is a defense system and is not designed as an instrument against Russia,” Romanian Foreign Minister Lazar Comanescu said.

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