>> America's European missile defense shield goes live. The $800 million system switched on in Romania on Thursday. It's aim, to defend the States and Europe, from so called rogue states, namely Iran. But Russia doesn't believe this. It says the shield's aim is to neutralize Moscow's nuclear arsenal long enough for the United States to strike Russia in the event of war.
Reuters' Deputy Bureau Chief in Moscow, Andrew Osbourne explains why the Russians are so incensed.>> The Kremlin says that from the beginning, it's really viewed this project as a threat to its own national security. But it says that steps are actively being taken to guarantee that Russia will be safe no matter what.
Russia says that the new shield will alter the balance of nuclear power in Europe in favor of its enemies. So really it's a move which it sees as hostile, a move against it.>> The system's capable of shooting down rockets that Washington says could one day reach major European cities.
When complete, the defensive umbrella will stretch from Greenland to the Azores.>> Russia in general is very unhappy with NATO. It says that NATO gradually, in time, little by little is moving military assets closer and closer towards Russia's own borders. And of course, Russia has a long historical fear of being encircled.
People here still talk about, of course, the invasion of Russia by Napoleon and, of course, the Second World War invasion of Russia by the Nazis, so it's a very sensitive subject here.>> Beyond the rhetoric, the big question now is what Russia will do in response. In the past, retaliations focussed on the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad that borders Poland and some Baltic states.
That's where Russia would most likely make it's next move. It has in the past, put missiles there capable of carrying nuclear weapons temporarily, something which may now become permanent.