Romania has begun building a military base that will become part of a controversial US-led NATO missile defense system stationed in Europe.
The launch of the construction works in southern Romania was attended on Monday by both Romanian President Train Basescu and US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller.
The construction is taking place at the Deveselu Military Base and is scheduled to become operational in 2015.
The missile defense facility will be maintained by US service personnel and house SM-3 interceptor missiles as well as radar equipment.
This comes as the Romanian government is undergoing a series of infrastructure works including the construction of a perimeter road and the upgrade of the fence.
US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said that the base would be constructed despite a rift between the US and Russia over the issue.
The US plan for a missile system in Europe has been a bone of contention since former President George W. Bush’s tenure.
Russia is concerned that the missile system could be used against Russian interests. Moscow has threatened to aim a new generation of missiles at European military targets and deploy its own missile interceptors.
A report published earlier this year by the Associated Press revealed that the multi-billion-dollar missile system in Europe faces serious technical flaws and political problems, according to US congressional investigators.
The investigators have also stated that Romania is a poor location for an interceptor to protect the US interests.
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