Romanian President Traian Basescu said on Thursday his country could host U.S. medium-range interceptor missiles as part of revamped missile shield plans, the BBC reported.
"Romania has been officially invited by U.S. President Barack Obama to be part of the [new] missile defense system," Basescu said after a meeting of the country's Supreme Defense Council.
He said talks between Washington and Bucharest on the issue should start in the near future and the agreements reached will be submitted to Romanian parliament for ratification.
Basescu stressed that the new system would not be directed against Russia but would "protect the whole of Romania's territory" in case of a potential ballistic missile attack.
"Romania will not host a system directed against Russia, but against other threats," he said.
Last year Obama scrapped plans for Poland and the Czech Republic to host missile shield elements to counter possible strikes from Iran. The missile shield plans infuriated Russia.
Due to a reassessment of the threat from Iran, Washington announced a new scheme for a more flexible system, with a combination of land- and sea-based interceptors based on the Standard Missile interceptor, SM-3.
Under the new plan, the United States would place ship-based SM-3s in the North and Mediterranean seas in 2011, and mobile land-based SM-3s in Central Europe by 2015.
U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden visited Romania, Poland, and the Czech Republic in October to promote the new missile shield plan.
Warsaw and Prague have already expressed their support of the revamped U.S. strategy.
MOSCOW, February 4 (RIA Novosti)