Brussels-NATO summit in Warsaw will announce the achievement of NATO’s missile defense system initial level of operational readiness, said Monday NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“We intend to announce the release of a missile defense system on the initial level of readiness,” he said at a press conference in Brussels.
Stoltenberg said Allied leaders, meeting in Warsaw on Friday and Saturday (9 July), will take key decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s defense and deterrence and project stability beyond NATO’s borders.
While Stoltenberg claimed that the funds of the European missile defense system “cannot intercept Intercontinental ballistic missiles of Russia.”
“We delivered a faster, a stronger, and a more ready Alliance. We now need to take the next steps. So at our Summit in Warsaw, we will agree to further enhance our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance,” said Stoltenberg.
Moscow believes that the system, which has been years in the making, could be used to shoot down Russian missiles. NATO argues this is technically impossible. The United States, which has taken the lead in the project, says the system is actually meant to counter Iran.
“This is not directed against Russia,” Stoltenberg said.
For its part, Russia has described NATO’s U.S.-led missile shield as a top security threat, rejecting Washington’s claims that the shield is intended to fend off the Iranian missile threat.
Tension on this matter has escalated in May after launching a missile defense site in Romania.
The missile shield uses a network of radars that track potential threats in the atmosphere, before launching an interceptor missile from a stationary base, or a fleet.