Romania’s Media about the Missile Defense System / News / News agency Inforos
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Romania’s Media about the Missile Defense System

Not everyone in Romania approves of deployment of interceptor missiles

Romania’s Media about the Missile Defense System
The signing of the U.S.-Romanian agreement on deployment of 24 BMD interceptor missiles at the former air base at Deveselu, in Olt County has caused not only criticism from Russia. It led to the emergence in Romanian press of anti-Russian articles of such content that an open-minded reader could think the countries are, if not on the verge of war, but confronting each other.

The Romania Liberа newspaper: "The United States seems to slowly but surely establish itself in the underbelly of Russia, taking advantage of the country where hatred of the Soviet domination has not disappeared even after 20 years since the fall of the Soviet Union".

Ziare.com analytics have "calculated" the Russian missiles possible trajectories aimed towards the U.S.A. , specified that the nearest to Romania strategic missile base is located on the Volga, and concluded that interceptors deployed at Deveselu will not prevent Russian missiles, even if there are more of them. In their view, Russia is simply experiencing "a sense of nostalgia" as "the Kremlin has not given up thinking in categories on spheres of influence". Thus, Ziare.com concludes that the problem is political, not military.

Reflecting on the short-term policy, Adevarul analytics dream of unification with Moldova. The current president of Romania has previously obtained support from the President Bush regarding the possible unification of Romania and Moldova. The visit by the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden to Kishinev has revived talk about the transition of the Republic of Moldova to the orbit of the North Atlantic Alliance. "The purpose of these actions will be a statement Barack Obama will soon make to Dmitry Medvedev that henceforth the border of NATO is on the Dniester", the publication says.

However, in Adevarul there are reasonable people who think about the present. Appealing to the reader with regard to the missile defense system, the publication is asking itself: "Do you know what this decision will mean for Romania? That we will be protected from Iran’s missiles disturbing us? Although we do not have to be less concerned about Russia’s irritation. That we will have U.S. troops stationed here? But we still do not have enough salaries and pensions to survive until the end of the month. It is not unlikely we will forget about strikes being lost in contemplation of military aircraft and ballistic missiles?"

It is noteworthy that the announcement regarding the deployment of air defense missiles in Deveselu came a day after the poll indicating that the majority of Romanians support Romania’s participation in U.S. missile defense system. BUT! 9% of respondents were not even aware of the fact that Romania has joined NATO!

Very few were able to identify possible shortcomings of the shield’s deployment: the potential transformation of Romania into a target of terrorist attacks (8.9%), worsening relations with Russia (8.4%) or high costs for Romania (7.2%). Yet more than three quarters of Romanians have good or very good opinion of the United States.

Things have come right both for Americans and Romania. Still no one knows who will make arrangements to implement this, the publication sums up. All the more so as, according to T.Basescu, the base remains under control of Romania. True, the control also means the right to take certain decisions, but it has been spoken aloud.

And in general, that is not the crux of the matter. According to the Gandul newspaper, the anti-missile shield is an investment in excess of $400 million the U.S. will invest directly in the Deveselu air base project. From an economic point of view, the daily Gandul writes, one can speak about a significant investment that comes at a time when the Romanian state has no money for it.

Finally, "it is a case of an extra card Romania can make use of when sitting down again at the negotiating table. The fact that Romania at the operational level will become part of these missile defense systems in 2015 may bring political benefits, it is now difficult to assess. Political benefits that can be converted by the right people in the exclusive economic advantages in particular in relations with the United States.

Romania is not just a state at the intersection of the EU and Russia. It is not just a member of NATO. Romania has received additional responsibility. In providing additional services that in certain situations may bring economic benefits."

Simply speaking, Romania can kill two birds with one stone, or, more precisely, "eat cake and have it".

Bucharest has not taken advantage of membership in NATO, Gandul writes. Romania is not listed among the countries that have experienced economic prosperity due to signing military agreements with the U.S. Romania had not benefited from EU membership and is not going to do so. Quite the contrary. "Now Bucharest can go over to economic diplomacy. Romania has a card it can bring into play at any time to earn a jackpot worth billions euros or dollars," the publication summed up.

This brings to mind Krylov’s fable: "That I, entirely without the fight, Can get to the big bully." It is not without reason that Revista newspaper wrote in late April: “Russia - the only enemy of Romania.” They may have found out somewhere that on 3 May an agreement with the U.S. is to be signed. For this newspaper all the other problems have been already solved.

But challenges remain. One of the most significant is the merger with Moldova. Time is getting on and the leadership of Moldova, considering the situation, came to the conclusion that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact needs to be left in history. According to Acting President Marian Lupu, "relationship between Romania and Moldova based exclusively on issues of identity, shared history and language, are harmful and not positive."

"There are many other strategic issues to be considered and used to strengthen bilateral relations." In an interview with Adevarul Marian Lupu said that he would not accept Bucharest’s assertion about Romania and Moldova as "two states and one people", and prefers to consider them as two European countries. In addition, he believes that contrasting relations between Kishinev and Moscow and those with Bucharest is inadmissible because it would result in the Moldovan society division.

And this is the closest neighbor. Not only Moscow is dissatisfied with the deployment of the U.S. missiles in Romania. For various reasons, Ukraine and Turkey approach this event from a critical standpoint and their opinion can play a certain role in the future which is difficult to estimate now.

And to draw a line under the discussion of Romanian media’s anti-Russian "actions" with regard to the deployment of missiles, one can quote the Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, who warned that Americans and their allies should not seek "to bar Russian bear’s lair" because it will come out and "kick these no-good hunters’ ass."
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