Interfax: Federation Council not ruling out deployment of U.S. missile defense shield in Romania may influence New START Treaty’s fate

Aegis Ashore Missile Defense File Photo

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) – The activation of a Romania-based facility of the U.S. missile defense shield and the further deployment of this shield in Eastern Europe may influence Russia’s participation in the New START Treaty, signed by the United States and Russia in 2010, Frants Klintsevich, first deputy chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament, has said.

“I call these actions absolutely unfriendly with regard to Russia. Romania is just the beginning, and it may spread further across Eastern Europe, and this is dangerous. All this causes the most serious concern in the Russian Defense Ministry. Certainly, it may have a very serious impact [on Russia’s participation in the New START Treaty],” Klintsevich told Interfax on Friday when answering a relevant question.

“As far as the New START Treaty is concerned, certainly, bearing in mind all of these developments and their analysis, it could be a topic for some conversation at the level of the expert community at this point, and life will show what happens next,” he said.

A U.S. Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system was put on combat duty at the Romanian base of Deveselu on Thursday. A groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a base to accommodate similar Aegis systems will take place in Poland’s Redzikowo on Friday. Observers have noted that the American missile defense shield for NATO countries in Europe would effectively be launched on Thursday. Both bases are being created as part of the second and third stages of U.S. and NATO plans to deploy a European missile defense shield.

According to Klintsevich, “Aegis is a replaceable system, in other words its interceptor missiles may be replaced by assault systems.”

“And given the prompt global strike concept, when hypersonic high-precision missiles deployed along borders conduct a strike against facilities in Russia within an hour, they are able to reduce the nuclear potential advantage to nothing via a massive strike. And it is not a joke. The Americans substantiated this absolutely sincerely and from a scientific standpoint and developed it a very long time ago, and even announced this to the whole world,” the Russian senator said.

“I would like to tell them: today, from a military-technical standpoint, and given the fact that Russia is able to conduct a high-tech war, the relevant means on Russia’s territory will immediately respond to any launch of any missile. And, certainly, all this does not help promote peace. And, as always, the United States of America is acting as the main provocateur,” he said.

[featured image is file photo]