Today's conference titled Romania and NATO's Ballistic Missile Defense System - a Transatlantic Strategic Contribution to Euro-Atlantic Security was a "particularly important" moment, marking five years since the becoming operational of the Deveselu-based missile defense facility that represents a Romanian-American contribution to NATO's collective defense, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said on Wednesday.
"Today was a particularly important moment, as we marked five years since the anti-ballistic missile facility in Deveselu became operational. The full operational capacity of this anti-missile facility was declared exactly on May 12, 2016. Also, this year marks a decade since the signing and coming into force of the Agreement on the deployment to Romania of the US ballistic missile defense system, a project I have taken care of from the very beginning until the moment it was finalized. I was the chief negotiator of this agreement for Romania and today we discussed about the significance of this project," Aurescu said at the end of the event organized by the Senate's Defense Committee.
The Romanian top diplomat added that the Deveselu anti-ballistic missile system represents a Romanian-American contribution to NATO's collective defense.
"I brought to mind that on the one hand it represents a joint Romanian-American contribution to NATO's collective defense. The Deveselu system is currently integrated with the NATO anti-missile system that is under development, so this is a developing project we also contribute to. At the same time, it represents an extremely important dimension of the Romania - US security and military cooperation under their Strategic Partnership for the 21st Century," said the Foreign Minister.
Referring to the recent B9 Summit co-hosted by President Klaus Iohannis and the latter's talks with US President Joe Biden, Aurescu said that Iohannis recalled President Biden's important contribution to the ballistic missile defense project, in his capacity as US Vice-President at the time.
"It was then-Vice President Biden the one who proposed to Romania in October 2009 to join this project, which subsequently materialized in February 2010; a negotiation process followed, which ended in 2011 with the hammering out of this agreement which Romania signed and then ratified," said Aurescu.
The conference, organized by the Senate's Committee on Defense, Public Order and National Security in partnership with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the National Defense Ministry was dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the certification of the operational capacity of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system and the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Romania - US Agreement on the establishment of NATO's ballistic missile defense system in southern Romania.