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."