NATO Decides To Activate Missile Shield Despite Russian Threats [View all]
NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response.
A NATO official told AFP that US President Barack Obama and his allies “just decided” at a Chicago summit to put a US warship armed with interceptors in the Mediterranean and a Turkey-based radar system under NATO command in a German base.
The alliance insists the shield is not aimed at Russia and aims to knock out missiles that could be launched by enemies such as Iran, but Moscow fears that the system will also serve to neutralize its nuclear deterrent.
“Missile defense is indispensable. We are faced with real missile threats,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on the eve of the summit, adding that 30 states either have or seek ballistic missile technology.