Romania’s participation in the Missile Defense System
Romania’s participation in the development of the European component of the US Ballistic Missile Defense System (EPAA / European Phased Adaptive Approach), approved by the Supreme Council of National Defense on 4 February 2010, represents a Romanian accomplishment both within the bilateral relationship with the United States, and as a reaffirmation of Romania as a reliable Ally within NATO. The EPAA constitutes an essential American contribution to the Ballistic Missile Defense architecture of NATO. Therefore, the Romanian participation in the EPAA also represents the national contribution to the Allied Ballistic Missile Defense system.
This joint project with the US significantly contributes to enhancing Romania’s national security and to strengthening its bilateral Strategic Partnership with the United States.
The negotiation process for the Agreement establishing the terms of the bilateral cooperation in the field of Missile Defense started on 17 June 2010. The text of the agreement was convened ad referendum by the two delegations after seven negotiation rounds.
On 3 May 2011, the President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, announced the decision of the Supreme Council of National Defense to approve the deployment at the Deveselu Air Base in Olt County, of the elements of the US Ballistic Missile Defense system. On 6 June 2011, the Agreement was initialed by the two chief-negotiators, Bogdan Aurescu and Ellen Tauscher, in Washington.
On 13 September 2011, Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and the US Secretary of State signed in Washington the Agreement between Romania and the United States of America on the Deployment of the United States Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania.
The document was ratified by the Romanian Parliament by Law No. 290/2011 and entered into force on 23 December 2011.
As far as the implementation of this agreement is concerned, the negotiating teams of the two countries worked intensely throughout 2012 and 2013 to agree the necessary Implementing Arrangements,
On 29 July 2012, five Implementing Arrangements were signed. On that occasion the Romanian officials pointed out that the signature of these arrangements within the jointly agreed calendar manifestly proves the commitment of the two countries to make the Ballistic Missile Defense system installations deployed in Romania operational in due time.
The negotiations continued and three more Implementing Arrangements were signed by the Romanian and US sides on 18 December 2012. Other three Implementing Arrangements were signed on 2 July 2013.
Currently, three more Implementing Arrangements are being completed.
Romania’s decision to participate in the US EPAA system is in full accordance with the decisions regarding the Allied Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), made at the NATO summits in Bucharest (April 2008), Strasbourg/Kehl (April 2009), Lisbon (November 2010) and Chicago (May 2012).
Romania supports the development of a NATO missile defense system grounded on the principles set at the most recent Summits of the Alliance: indivisibility of Allied security, collective solidarity, and the full coverage of the Allied territory.
Therefore, Romania supported and welcomed the declaration, adopted at the Chicago Summit, regarding the achievement by the Alliance of an Interim NATO BMD Capability. This moment reflected both the cohesion and the determination of the Allies to uphold the calendar of implementation agreed in order to make this system an independent and, at the same time, a complementary capability, designed to strengthen NATO’s traditional mix of capabilities in the conventional and nuclear fields. Missile defense is a relevant example which adds further substance to the Smart Defence concept.
Romania’s involvement will take place starting with Phase II of the EPAA. This contribution consists in hosting, on the Romanian territory (in the former Air Force Base at Deveselu, Olt County) of land-based interceptors (Standard Missile 3 Block IB) that will become operational by the end of 2015. Phase II of the EPAA, through Deveselu Base, will represent the Initial Capability of the NATO BMD system, after the Interim Capability declared in Chicago.
On 15 March 2013, the US Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, announced that the US Administration decided to cancel Phase IV of the EPAA (which would have meant the deployment in Poland, by 2022, of the SM3-IIB interceptors). On this occasion, the American official reaffirmed the US commitment to the NATO ballistic missile defense. As Secretary Hagel expressed it, through the implementation, by 2018, of Phases I through III, including the sites in Romania and Poland, the US Missile Defense system will provide coverage of all European NATO territory (“The US commitment to Phases 1 through 3 of the EPAA and NATO missile defense remains ironclad, including the planned sites in Poland and Romania. The US missile defense deployments to Europe will be capable of providing coverage of all European NATO territory in the 2018 timeframe, so there will be no impact on the defense of NATO”).
In advance of the public announcement, Romania was informed by the US with regard to the decision to alter the EPAA structure. This gesture reflected the bilateral Strategic Partnership between Romania and the US, as well as Romania’s status as member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
Read more about the Missile Defense System.