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U.S., Romania set to sign missile shield agreement

RIA Novosti

06:45 13/09/2011

WASHINGTON, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - The United States will sign on Tuesday an agreement with Romania on the deployment of elements of its missile shield, the U.S. Department of State said.

"On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi will sign the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Romania on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania," the statement said.

"This legally-binding agreement will allow for the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system in Romania," the statement added.

Romania announced earlier this year that it had reached a preliminary agreement with the United States to deploy a U.S. missile interceptor system at a disused Soviet airbase on its territory. Russia then issued an urgent request for legal guarantees from the United States that its missile shield will not target Russia's strategic nuclear forces.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

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