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Construction starts on US base in Romania _ part of missile defense system worrying Russia

  • 6893027757f57f24410f6a7067007026.jpg

    From left US Vice Admiral James D Syring, Romanian President Traian Basescu , US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N Miller, and Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa shovel sand during the official ground breaking ceremony of an U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. US and Romanian officials marked the start of construction work at a Romanian air force base in southern Romania that will host radar and interceptor missile systems, part of the US-NATO missile shield for Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)The Associated Press

  • f6f09c0b58188024410f6a706700c909.jpg

    Officers shake hands upon arriving for the official ground breaking ceremony of an U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. US and Romanian officials marked the start of construction work at a Romanian air force base in southern Romania that will host radar and interceptor missile systems, part of the US-NATO missile shield for Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)The Associated Press

  • d4fed2e457fc7f24410f6a7067008631.jpg

    Romanian President Traian Basescu, foreground, passes by US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N. Miller, background, during the official ground breaking ceremony of an U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. US and Romanian officials marked the start of construction work at a Romanian air force base in southern Romania that will host radar and interceptor missile systems, part of the US-NATO missile shield for Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)The Associated Press

  • a4f5975857f67f24410f6a7067004fc5.jpg

    Romanian military police and officials direct vehicles before the official ground breaking ceremony of an U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. US and Romanian officials marked the start of construction work at a Romanian air force base in southern Romania that will host radar and interceptor missile systems, part of the US-NATO missile shield for Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)The Associated Press

  • a425c38857f57f24410f6a7067009c98.jpg

    Romanian President Traian Basescu, left, US Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James N Miller, center, and Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa , right, handle shovels during the official ground breaking ceremony of an U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense base in Deveselu, Romania, Monday, Oct. 28, 2013. US and Romanian officials marked the start of construction work at a Romanian air force base in southern Romania that will host radar and interceptor missile systems, part of the US-NATO missile shield for Europe.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)The Associated Press

Construction has begun on a U.S. base in Romania that will form part of a ballistic missile defense system that has angered Russia.

The Deveselu base in southern Romania is expected to be operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment.

James Miller, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, attended a ceremony Monday at the base.

He said that "as the (NATO) Alliance has entered new times, it has also addressed new threats. One of these is the threat of ballistic missile attack."

The U.S. government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and will only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile country.

Russia considers the interceptors a threat and has cited them in blocking cooperation on nuclear arms reductions and other issues.

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