Said Prime Minister Victor Ponta after a meeting with NATO Chief US General Philip Breedlove
BUCHAREST, April 1, (TASS) - Romania will host NATO heavy military equipment, Prime Minister Victor Ponta told journalists on Wednesday.
Ponta held a meeting with NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Philip Breedlove on Tuesday.
“The only thing I can say at the moment is that Romania is ready to fulfil NATO’s decisions,” Ponta said, answering a journalist’s question on whether the alliance’s heavy military equipment will be deployed in Romania. Ponta refused to provide details of talks with Breedlove, noting that “the Romanian government fully agrees to fulfil its obligations to the Alliance.”
General Breedlove said the decision will be made soon on deploying NATO heavy military equipment in Romania in accordance with the agreements reached earlier.
In February, NATO defense ministers made a decision on creating six command and control centers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. They also decided to boost the NATO Response Force in Europe from 13,000 to 30,000 troops.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Alexander Grushko said NATO’s move on strengthening its eastern borders changes the military–political situation in Europe and directly threatens Russia’s national security.
US plans to deploy missile defense in Romania in 2015
The US is planning to deploy its ground-based IGIS missile systems in Romania by the end of 2015.
In his speech at the International Munich Conference in February, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the US plans on European air defense (EuroABM project) contradicted the 1987 Russian–US Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).
Lavrov noted that the deployment of launchers for interceptor missiles in Romania and Poland will be in direct violation of the INF Treaty because those systems could be used for launching medium-range cruise missiles.