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    US Army personnel stand with the Romanian and the US flag during an inauguration ceremony of the US anti-missile station Aegis Ashore Romania (in the background) at the military base in Deveselu, Romania on May 12, 2016.

    'Have No Illusions': US Missile Defense System is 'Directed Against Russia'

    © AFP 2017/ DANIEL MIHAILESCU
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    Washington's missile defense system in Europe is allegedly aimed to deal with the threat posed by Iran's missile program, but, experts agree, the Aegis program is in fact directed against Russia.

    The latest component of Barack Obama's initiative, known as the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), came online in Romania on Thursday. On Friday, construction will begin at a site in Poland. Once it is finished, the EPAA would become fully operational.

    A helicopter flies by the radar building of a missile defense base, in Deveselu, prior to an opening ceremony attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials at a base, originally established by the Soviet Union, in Deveselu, Southern Romania, Thursday, May 12, 2016.
    © AP Photo/ Vadim Ghirda
    A helicopter flies by the radar building of a missile defense base, in Deveselu, prior to an opening ceremony attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials at a base, originally established by the Soviet Union, in Deveselu, Southern Romania, Thursday, May 12, 2016.

    NATO officials have long claimed that the EPAA does not pose a threat to Moscow, but officials, politicians and analysts from Russia and elsewhere remain unconvinced. Political analyst Georgy Fyodorov maintained that this is NATO's strategy aimed at "putting Russia off its guard."

    "Of course they will say that all [the bloc's] tanks in Estonia and Latvia, as well as war-games are not meant to counter us, but instead serve to protect [the alliance] against Daesh or some other terrorist group," he told Radio Sputnik. "But we should have no illusions. All military and deterrent actions performed close to our borders are carried out primarily against us."

    Sergey Ermakov of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies shared this concern, pointing to NATO's military buildup in Eastern Europe. The bloc's missile defense system, nuclear weapons and conventional forces are all "targeted against our country," he told Sputnik. "This is crystal clear."

    The United States developed the European missile defense system as an integral part of its strategy aimed at securing global dominance, he added.

    Components of NATO's missile defense system in Romania and Poland "are a worrying sign," Ermakov said, adding that they "pose a threat to [Russia's] security."

    Defense analyst Igor Korotchenko shared this sentiment.

    "Washington's missile defense system is directed against Russia. Its main goal is to offset our nuclear capabilities" he told the Vzglyad business newspaper. "The United States will invest into sea-based missile defense systems in the Baltic and the Black Seas. Then Washington will be able to blackmail Moscow."

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    U.S. missile shield in Europe (34)

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    missile defense system, geopolitics, Aegis Ashore BMD complex, Europe, United States, Russia, Romania
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