On September 13, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi signed the U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System. This agreement calls for the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense (BMD) system in Romania.
Secretary Clinton said, "...Thanks to the diligent work of our negotiating teams and the personal commitment of President Basescu and President Obama, the foreign minister and I have just signed the U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement. This represents a critical step in implementing the Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense in Europe.
"The proliferation of ballistic missiles that are more lethal, more accurate, and can cover greater distances poses a growing threat to the people and security of both Europe and the United States. Our governments worked closely together to select Deveselu Air Base in Romania to host a ballistic missile defense system, and the agreement we have just signed will position Romania as a central player in NATO's evolving missile defense capability.
"Once the agreement is ratified, the United States will build, maintain, and operate in Romania the land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, a system we have assiduously tested and have proven effective over the last decade, and which will help protect the entire continent and augment the security of the United States. With the support of the Romanian parliament and people, we anticipate deploying the completed system as part of the second phase of European missile defense in approximately four years.
"This agreement reflects the commitment of the United States to our allies in NATO, and specifically to our Article 5 responsibilities for collective defense. On Sunday, we marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The day after those attacks, for the first time in its history, NATO invoked Article 5 for collective security. Ten years later, we still remember that commitment and solidarity, and how our allies did not hesitate to stand by our side in our time of need. With the agreement the foreign minister and I sign today, we again strengthen our resolve and our promise to protect each other in very concrete ways.
"Romania has been a strong partner in NATO's actions around the globe, from peacekeeping in Kosovo to enforcing the arms embargo of Libya, and we honor the commitment and sacrifice of the Romanian soldiers who served alongside American troops in Afghanistan.
"Now there are many areas where Romania and the United States collaborate. Before this ceremony, the foreign minister and I had a wide ranging discussion covering the full depth and scope of our bilateral relationship, from promoting government transparency to creating free market opportunities worldwide, and I want to particularly to thank Romania for its work supporting emerging democracies as well. Drawing on the lessons of its own recent history, Romania has offered valuable guidance and expertise to countries that are working to build sustainable democratic governments and improve the lives of their citizens."
You can read a full transcript of the Secretary's remarks here.