Bucharest, December 4, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Irina Stoica
The Missile Defence System in Deveselu, Romania, will become operational in two weeks’ time, the US State Department announced. That means basically that all the construction works will be completed and all the elements are expected to function at full parameters. Still, there are still some tests to be run before the system is fully operational and they will be completed by March-April 2016.
“Deveselu has become an exceptionally important location, not only in Romania but also for the United States and the entire North Atlantic Treaty Organization Alliance”, US Ambassador in Romania, Hans Klemm, stated last month during a visit to the military base in southern Romania. “Due to its decision to host the facility that’s very close to us that will be an essential element to provide security against ballistic missile threat, Deveselu has become a key element in the security for the entire transatlantic region”, Klemm said.
The US and Romanian authorities jointly selected the Deveselu Air Base to host a U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System in May 2011. The official agreement was signed in September 2011. The American investment in this project reached 143 million dollars.
Russia has repeatedly criticised this project, considering it a direct threat to its security. Not later than two months ago, a Russian Foreign Ministry official warned that Romania needed to understand the considerable responsibility it assumes by hosting this ballistic system. Moscow urged Bucharest to abandon the Deveselu shield project before it was too late.