NATO has completed a scheduled upgrade of a land-based Aegis Ashore ballistic missile system in Romania. The update is part of the United States European Phased Adaptive Approach to ballistic missile defence, which was announced on September 2009. The Aegis Ashore station will detect and track potential threats outside of the bloc. A US THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defence) system was deployed to the Deveselu base for the time of the upgrade.
In response to the Aegis Ashore system in Romania, Russia deployed Tu-22M3 long-range bombers in March to the Crimea area. "The deployment of American missile defence systems in Romania came as a major challenge, in response to which the Russian Defence Ministry made the decision to deploy long-range missile-carrying Tu-22M3 bombers to the Gvardeyskoye Airbase. This move has drastically changed the balance of forces in the region." Viktor Bondarev, head of the Russian Federation Council's Committee for Defence and Security, said.
Russia has shown concern over the capability of U.S. missile systems in Europe systems to launch Tomahawk cruise missiles. Although those missiles are banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the United States formally left the treaty on August 2. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Washington bears full responsibility for possible consequences of this move and Russia never violated the treaty.