The United States and Romania have announced that the U.S.-Romania Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement has entered into force. This agreement provides for the deployment of a U.S. ballistic missile defense interceptor site to Romania. The interceptor site will be located at Deveselu Air Base as a part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense, the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense. The base, said both countries, represents a significant contribution to the NATO missile defense capability Allies agreed to develop at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon.
The United States remains committed to proven missile defenses that provide flexibility to address emerging threats. As President Barack Obama has said, "Our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies."
There are four phases to the full deployment of the missile defense system in Europe. Phase one consists of Aegis ballistic missile defense-capable ships in the Mediterranean and a land—based missile defense radar in Turkey.
Phase two will expand coverage against short- and medium-range threats with fielding of the land-based missile defense interceptor site in Romania. 2015 is the timeframe for completion of this phase.
Phase three in 2018 will improve coverage against medium- and intermediate-range missile threats with an additional land-based interceptor site in Poland and the deployment of a more advanced SM-3 interceptor.
And finally in about 2020, phase four will enhance the ability to counter medium- and intermediate-range missiles and potential future inter-continental ballistic missile threats to the United States from the Middle East through the deployment of more advanced SM-3 interceptors.
While the BMD interceptor site in Romania will provide a defensive capability to protect Europe and the United States against ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East, it is important to note that this system is neither designed nor capable of undermining the Russian strategic deterrent. In fact, the United States is pursuing missile defense cooperation efforts with the Russian Federation.
Cooperation with Russia will enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of our combined territorial missile defenses, and at the same time provide both NATO and Russia with greater security.