A deal for the United States to deploy ballistic missile interceptors in Romania formally took effect on Friday, the U.S. State Department announced (see GSN, Dec. 16).
The antimissile assets would be fielded in 2015 at the Deveselu Air Base. The United States is expected to deploy Standard Missile 3 interceptors under the arrangement, according to previous reports.
"This base represents a significant contribution by our two nations to NATO’s missile defense efforts," the department said in a press release.
Romania is one of several NATO states to agree to host U.S. defense elements as part of the military alliance's effort to build a missile shield capable of protecting Europe from potential ballistic missile strikes from the Middle East. Poland and Spain have also agreed to allow interceptors on their territory and Turkey has agreed to host a U.S.-provided long-range radar base. Russia has strongly criticized the NATO missile shield plan, claiming it could be secretly a scheme to undermine the nation's strategic nuclear force (U.S. State Department release, Dec. 23).