US Set to Activate European Missiles despite Russia Warning

US Set to Activate European Missiles despite Russia Warning
Wed May 11, 2016 19:32:20

The United States is about to activate its missile systems across Europe, despite Russia’s warnings against a systematically increasing US-led arms deployment near its borders.

Almost after a decade of pledging to protect members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Washington will on Thursday activate a web of missile systems it has deployed across Europe over the years.

American and NATO officials are slated to declare operational the so-called shield at a remote air base in Deveselu, Romania.

“We now have the capability to protect NATO in Europe," said Robert Bell, a NATO-based envoy of US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

He claimed that the shield is supposed to protect Europe from an Iranian missile threat, a claim Moscow has repeatedly rejected, saying the missiles are aimed at Russia instead.

"The Iranians are increasing their capabilities and we have to be ahead of that. The system is not aimed against Russia," Bell told reporters, adding that the system will soon be handed over to NATO command.

He echoed US State Department spokesman John Kirby who had said the system “is defensive in nature” and therefore can’t be targeted “at anybody.”

Despite American assurances, Moscow accuses Washington of trying to neutralize its nuclear arsenal and buy enough time to make a first strike on Russia in the event of war.

S/SH 11

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