US army bases will appear on the Black Sea Coast – in Bulgaria and Romania. About $50 million will be assigned to build the base in Romania, and the Pentagon plans to spend $60 million more for the same purpose in Bulgaria.
The Romanian base is expected to be put in operation in 2010, whereas the second one will most likely be launched in 2011 or 2012. Over 4,000 US military men are expected to serve at the two bases: 1,600 in Romania and 2,500 in Bulgaria. The authorities of the two nations expect that the US military men will settle there for a long time.
Col. Gary Russ, commander of Joint Task Force-East, sad that no one in Bulgaria and Romania had anything against the US military presence in the two countries. Vice President Joseph Biden, who recently visited several countries of Eastern Europe, including Romania, stated that the European nation supported a new configuration of the US missile defense system.
It is not ruled out that elements of the US missile defense system may eventually appear in Eastern Europe. US officials say that the appearance of army bases in Bulgaria and Romania strictly corresponds to the plans of the US administration to relocate troops in foreign countries (George W. Bush announced the plans in 2004).
It goes about the Pentagon’s intention to cut its 55,000-strong group in Germany and redeploy a part of the troops in several countries of Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria and Romania.
Alexander Khramchikhin, deputy director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that the plans of the United States to build army bases in Romania and Bulgaria were exposed nearly a decade ago.
“Indeed, the Americans need more bases for their actions in the Middle East. They have bases in Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but they are not enough to satisfy all of Washington’s needs. The Pentagon needs new bases in Eastern Europe to maintain its troops in the Middle East,” the expert said.
Another expert, Konstantin Sivkov, told Pravda.Ru that the appearance of new army bases in Bulgaria and Romania would pose a threat to Russian interests.
“The number of US military men at the two bases is not going to be large, but who can say that it will not be doubled, tripped or quadrupled in the future? Furthermore, the appearance of NATO bases on the Black Sea coast will come as an addition to the US military objects in the Baltic region. As a result, Russia will find itself trapped.
“Why does the USA need these two bases on the Black Sea? To struggle against terrorism? This explanation does not withstand any criticism. There are nearly 4,000 kilometers between Romania and the Middle East. This distance is too large for the nation to maintain its groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“One should bear in mind the fact that the Americans started withdrawing their troops from Iraq. Therefore, there is no need to strengthen the infrastructure. To crown it all, American army bases in the Middle East are plentiful.
“I would also like to pay your attention to the fact that the US Military Academy at West Point has recently launched extensive courses to study the Russian culture and language. They started teaching the Iraqi culture and the Arab language three years before invading Iraq.
“Washington is also interested in the energy sources of the Caspian Sea. The bases will probably be established in Romania and Bulgaria to secure the transportation of the Caspian oil and gas,” the expert concluded.
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