The US-Romanian negotiations on the missile shield set-up in Romania start today, June 17, in Bucharest and will last for two days. The American delegation is headed by state undersecretary for arms control and international security Ellen Tauscher. Romania is represented by a delegation led by state secretary for strategic affairs from the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) Bogdan Aurescu, a MAE communiqué informs.

The agenda includes the meeting of the two leaders to discuss bi-lateral interest security aspects, including the participation in the missile shield defence and shared non-proliferation agenda, followed by discussions in the delegations' plenum.

The visit of the US delegation underlines the Romanian-US Strategic Partnership, joint engagements taken within NATO and the joint approach of the current global challenges, MAE indicates.

The Romanian Supreme Council of National Defense (CSAT) approved on February 4 the American invitation to take part in the missile shield project in Europe. The American missile shield will be implemented in four steps. As far as Romania is concerned, it entails hosting terrestrial interceptors, namely SM-3 standard missiles type Block 1B, which will become operational in 2015. Romania will not host radar bases, will not buySM-3s and will not pay for the local arrangements.

According to the information made available by the Romanian Foreign Affairs following the announcement made by President Traian Basescu on February 4, the negotiations would last for a year - a year and a half. The visit that starts today was preceded by contacts between experts from the two parties.

Romania has got a mandate for negotiations, but CSAT needs to approve it. There is no public information on it. There's nothing on the Presidency's website. The last information on the project dates from March 23, when the buying the F16 aircrafts has been approved by CSAT. requested the Presidency for this information and it is currently waiting for an answer. According to the information held by, the mandate was approved several days ago.