Monday, February 8, 2010

Russia expects US comprehensive answer about missile defense sites in Romania


BERLIN, February 5 (Itar-Tass) -- Russia has reminded the United States about the Montreux Convention, which limits the ability of warships to pass through Black Sea straits and which is signed by Romania, due to the U.S. plans to deploy missile defense sites in Romania.

“We expect a comprehensive answer from our American partners, as the Montreux Convention regulates the Black Sea regime,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

He also referred to missile defense agreements with the United States. “There is an agreement with the Barack Obama administration that is already being fulfilled. The sides agreed to start with the joint analysis of missile proliferation threats and risks. We think that European colleagues, among them Germany, should join this work,” he said.

“Once we evaluate missile proliferation risks and related threats, we may discuss diplomatic, economic or, possibly, military-technical measures that must be taken,” Lavrov said.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Friday that his country was ready to host the American missile defense sites.

“The network will become operational in 2015. We will soon start negotiations with the United States, and the prospective agreement will have to be ratified by the parliament,” he said.

In his words, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher delivered President Barack Obama’s message to Romania. The new system will protect the whole of Romania from ballistic missiles, he said.

“The system is absolutely not targeted against Russia. It is directed against other threats,” Basescu said.

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