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Minister of Defense Mihai Fifor has called "funny" the statements of some officials regarding his statements on the Deveselu base.

"I think that when we talk about the way the Russian Federation manifests itself, there is no doubt whatsoever. As for the statements of some officials, I watched them yesterday - they are funny - that's all I can say, what is important is the following thing: that from a misunderstanding of my words on a show two nights ago (...) we have reached a flurry of interpretations, some more interesting than others; I want to emphasise something as clear and firm as possible: Romania, and I emphasise, Romania does not have ballistic missiles at Deveselu base, and I think it's time for us to stop with these speculations because they are not things that should reach the political dialogue area," Fifor said after meeting his British counterpart Gavin Williamson, responding to a statement by secretary of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest Pavel Alekseenko.

Fifor reiterated that at the Deveselu base there is an anti-ballistic shield that is equipped with interceptor missiles.

"As a NATO member country, Romania is now enjoying the presence of one of the most important partners it has, and as a result of today's discussions, it has resulted that the NATO presence at the Black Sea will remain at least as substantive as so far," Fifor said.

Pavel Alekseenko wrote in a Facebook post that Fifor's statement is yet another proof that the American shield at Deveselu represents a direct and immediate threat to the national security of the Russian Federation.

Fifor spoke on Tuesday evening on a show of the Antena 3 private broadcaster about Deveselu's military base and the relationship with the Russian Federation.

"Obviously, President Putin will not be extremely delighted that very serious military capabilities are being developed in Romania. How could President Putin ever be excited about the fact that in Romania there is the military base at Deveselu with ballistic missiles; how could President Putin ever be delighted that we have a base at Mihail Kogalniceanu populated with American soldiers, and we continue to insist on the US under the strategic partnership to secure the continuity of US troops on Romania's soil? How could the Russian Federation ever be delighted that Romania has developed its naval capabilities? Or even more, how could the Russian Federation ever be delighted when we declare that Romania intends to develop a submarine programme in the Black Sea?," said Fifor.

On Wednesday, Fifor told Digi24 private broadcaster in an interview that he could never say there are ballistic missiles at the Deveselu base, pointing out that that was a "misunderstanding, misinterpretation."

"I do not think anyone could say that we have ballistic missiles at the Deveselu base. Last night I said very clearly that we had the base at Deveselu, comma, that deals with ballistic missiles, and not that we have such missiles at the Deveselu base. It is quite unlikely that I do not know what we are housing at the Deveselu base, that I do not know that there really are the interceptor missiles and how the Deveselu shield works. There was misunderstanding, a communication error, at the worst, but in no case could I ever say that there are ballistic missiles at the Deveselu base... (...) At worst, that was misinterpretation and nothing more," Fifor told Digi24. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Alexandru Florea, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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