US, Romania Sign Missile Defense Agreement

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi signed the bilateral agreement that will enable the United States to establish a ballistic missile defense interceptor site on Romanian soil by mid decade. This agreement “will position Romania as a central player in NATO’s evolving missile defense capability,” said Clinton at Tuesday’s press briefing with Baconschi following the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C. In early May, the two nations announced that they had chosen Deveselu Air Base near Caracal to host the 430-acre site, which will comprise a radar deckhouse, command element, and launch modules containing land-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors. The Romanian parliament must ratify the agreement before it enters into force. “We anticipate deploying the completed system as part of the second phase of European missile defense in approximately four years,” said Clinton. (Clinton-Baconschi transcript) (See also State Department fact sheet.)