Romania Ballistic Missile Defence Base Is An Aggression Platform, Alleges Russia: NATO Says Russia Exaggerating BMD For Domestic Political Gains

By @diplomatist10 on
Members of the visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill climb aboard the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon
Members of the visit, board, search and seizure team assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill climb aboard the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon from a rigid-hull inflatable boat during a boarding exercise in the Pacific Ocean in this September 20, 2011 handout photo obtained by Reuters May 15, 2012. The Yukon and the USS Essex, a US Navy amphibious assault vessel, collided off the coast of California May 16, 2012 due to a steering malfunction during a refueling operation, damaging both vessels but causing no injuries, the Navy said in a statement. No one was injured and no fuel was spilled, the Navy said. Reuters/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Grandin

Russia has reiterated that the planned deployment of the shore-based Aegis command and control component of the US Ballistic Missile Defense system in Romania is turning that country into a platform of aggression against Russia. This charge was raised by a top leader of the National-European Communitarian Party.  

"Romania is transforming into an aggression platform against Russia," stated Luc Michel and added that countries such as Poland, Bulgaria and some Baltic countries and are also following the foot print of NATO strategy. Under the NATO-US led BMD, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency will install an Aegis Ashore BMD complex in Romania in 2015 and a similar system in Poland will be commissioned in 2018.  Similar NATO BMD systems with a mix of radars and interceptors will also be placed Turkey and Spain.

US Dismisses Concerns

The United States has already dismissed Russia’s fears on BMD as groundless as it is not aimed at countering Russia's nuclear arsenal, and is only for intercepting missiles from rogue countries. But Russia has been asserting that the BMD in Europe is aimed at its defence ssytems and is a threat to its national security and nuclear deterrence. Russia’s 2014 military doctrine listed BMD as Moscow’s fourth external military danger.

Frank A. Rose, the U.S State Department's assistant secretary for arms control, in early April said missile defence systems will be expanded to cover Europe, Turkey, Poland, the Middle-East, Japan and Korea.

Talks With Australia

The U. S official said, “We continue to consult closely with Australia," Rose told the Center for Strategic and International Studies and added “as a result of US-Australia foreign and defence ministerial-level consultations over the past year, the United States and Australia have established a bilateral BMD working group to examine options for potential Australian contributions to the BMD architecture in the Asia-Pacific region."

NATO also said Russia’s concerns are exaggerated and it has a political sub text to it. It suits Russia's domsetic interests in demonising the defensive nature of the BMD projects in Eastern Europe.  By raking up BMD issue from time to time, Russia is trying to deflect the attention of its people from the economic crisis and using it as a way to sustain the political allegiances of the population. For Kremlin, BMD is like a whipping boy and a convenient enemy to ensure the Russian government survival, it noted.

NATO Sees Political Game

In 2004, the United States officially announced the deployment of BMD in Europe.  Since then, Russian leaders had been raising the issue for justifying its own actions.  Putin raised the missile defence in his February 2007 speech at the G8 Security Conference in Munich, while PM Medvedev referred to missile defence for military upgrades in 2011.

According to NATO, given Russia’s offensive capabilities the argument that missile defence in Europe poses a security threat is exaggerated. Russia has many countermeasures to overcome NATO’s BMD. It points out that, as of 2014, under obligations in New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty Russia has a total of 1,643 warheads and 528 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missile and heavy bombers. Russia also possesses tactical missiles, decoys and independently targetable re-entry vehicles.

Romania also said the Deveselu missile defence shield is purely defensive in nature. Foreign Minister Bogdn Aurescu said the NATO ballistic missile defence system will be on pace so that the Warsaw summit meeting of NATO can declare the initial operational capability following the commissioning of the Aegis Ashore Facility at the Deveselu military base.

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