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US signs missile defence deal with Romania

A new US-operated missile interceptor system will be introduced to Romania by 2015, according to US officials.

Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after signing the deal today.
Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after signing the deal today.
Image: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana/PA

THE US AND Romania today signed an agreement on the construction of a ballistic missile defence shield in the Eastern European country.

The land-based interceptor missile system is expected to be introduced to an existing Romanian air force facility by 2015.

The US State Department described the deal as a deepening of the “bilateral strategic relationship” between the countries and said greater cooperation in this area would add to NATO’s “collective security” and defence.

The Romanian development comes under a programme the US says will provide protection for NATO’s European areas and would “augment” US defence. It comes as part of a wider NATO project to bolster its defence plan in Europe – a plan which Russia has objected to on the grounds that a single shield should be used instead of the two planned for Romania and Poland.

The State Department says that the Aegis missile defence system, which is to be deployed in Romania by 2015, has been found successful in 22 of 27 flight tests since 2007. The US will build and maintain the interceptor facility in Romania.

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