just a day's time this sleepy Armenian town is set to enter the international spotlight. A NATO ballistic missile defense site will be opened here Wednesday. Its stated aim, to repel potential nuclear missiles from outside Europe, namely Iran. But as Reuters' Andrew Osborn reports from Moscow, Russia has been riled since its conception.
>> Russia has long objected to these US-backed plans. Why? Well, the main complaint from Moscow is that they believe that this new shield would alter the balance of nuclear power within Europe itself, and that is a big worry for Russia. Russia also has this fear, something that it talks about a lot, that it believes it's being surrounded.
>> The site will include powerful radar and missile interceptors for the US troop presence to boot, and is set to become the first land-based US missile defense in Europe. Another facility in Poland should come online soon after. The question next, how might Moscow react?>> Russia has made all kinds of threatening noises about the shield for years and years, threatening essentially some kind of unspecified retaliation.
What would that mean in practice? Well, it would probably mean that Russia would beef up, will build up its own nuclear forces.>> Residents here have welcomed the increased military presence and investment it brought. But once the missiles go live, it will also put the area on the map as the latest thorn in Russian-NATO relations.