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Radio România Internaţional

18 Aprilie 2015
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Russia has again issued fresh threats against Romania. PM Victor Ponta said such statements are not intimidating and would not result in any change in Romania’s strategy.

Bucharest’s reaction to Moscow’s threats


Premierul Victor Ponta. Foto:

The exchange of bitter assertions between NATO and Russia continued on Thursday, when the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia General Valery Gerasimov warned that any EU Member State hosting elements of the NATO anti-ballistic shield, including Romania, would become priority targets for Russia.

This is not the first time the Kremlin has voiced discontent with NATO’s plans to consolidate its eastern flank, as the same happened two weeks ago.

According to General Gerasimov, NATO is trying to create new sources of instability on the Russian border, accusing Washington and its allies within NATO of trying to generate fresh conflicts near the border with Russia.

The Russian official believes that one destabilizing practice would be to finance so-called "colour revolutions" in Ukraine, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, which are essentially military coups.

General Gerasimov claims that such coups were orchestrated to support Western-backed forces at the helm of post-soviet states. These statements have prompted NATO’s firm reaction. NATO has reiterated the fact that its anti-missile shield serves a purely defensive purpose and does not target Russia, and that NATO will defend its members against any threats.

Our Brussels correspondent Cerasela Radulescu told us more.

Geography and physics make it impossible for the NATO system to shoot down Russian intercontinental missiles from NATO sites in Romania or Poland’, NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said in a statement.

The NATO official explained that these shields had limited capabilities, while their location in southern Europe and close to Russia would make any missile interception impossible.

NATO also denies that any of its allies have set up nuclear weapons in eastern Europe, arguing on the contrary that Russia is the only country using nuclear weapons as an intimidation strategy.

Nuclear-armed bombers hover close to member states’ borders, NATO claims.

Russia has repeatedly threatened it would set up nuclear bases in Crimea and Kaliningrad, Oana Lungescu also said, recalling that NATO is a defensive military organization that would not hesitate to defend its allies.

In turn, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta has dismissed what he has termed "the threats and criticism" from Russian officials, warning that such statements are not intimidating and would not result in any change in Romania’s strategy. 

Etichete RomaniaRussiaNATO anti-ballistic shieldKremlinChief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia General Valery GerasimovthreatsPM Victor Ponta

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