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Russia Calls New U.S. Missile Shield in Romania a 'Direct Threat'

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Alastair Jamieson | NBC News

Russia has described a new $800 million U.S. missile defense site in Romania as a "direct threat" and warned it would bolster its equivalent systems earlier than planned.

Admiral Vladimir Komoyedov, chairman of the State Duma's defense committee, said: "They are moving to the firing line. This is not just 100; it's 200, 300, 1,000 percent aimed against us."

His comments came as the shield — at the Cold War-era Deveselu base 110 miles southwest of Bucharest — was formally activated at a ceremony featuring military bands and attended by U.S., NATO and Romanian officials.

Komoyedov, a former commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, disputed U.S. suggestions that the shield is intended to fend off threats from Iran and is not aimed at Moscow.

"This is a direct threat to us," he told the Interfax news agency. "This is not about Iran, but about Russia with its nuclear capabilities."

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