US, Romania announce plan for missile defense site

US Undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher with Romanian President Traian Basescu, May 3, 2011.

From Alison Mutler, the AP:  Romania’s president said Tuesday his country will host missile interceptors as part of a planned U.S. shield over Europe.

Traian Basescu announced that Bucharest had agreed to build the interceptor site at the Deveselu former air base near the Bulgarian border, in a remote agricultural region. Romania already had agreed to host the interceptors, but the location had not been decided.

The president, a staunch ally of the U.S., said it would give Romania "the highest security level in its history."

Basescu earlier met with U.S. undersecretary of State Ellen Tauscher and she traveled to the site, some 125 miles (200 kilometers) southwest of Bucharest.

An average of 200 troops will be based at the site, which can host a maximum of 500, Basescu said. The base, which will remain under Romanian command, is a few kilometers (miles) outside Deveselu, a town of about 3,000.

He said the site was approved late Monday by the country’s Supreme Defense Council. Local officials were informed and gave their agreement, he said.  (photo: AP)

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