BUCHAREST, Romania — Defence Minister Teodor Melescanu says Romania will boost dialogue with Russia to dispel concerns over the deployment of US bases in Bulgaria and Romania.In an interview with AFP on Thursday (June 7th), Melescanu suggested recent statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin were likely the result of insufficient information on the purpose of those bases. Earlier this week, Putin expressed strong concern over NATO plans to build a global anti-missile defence shield, and suggested Russia might take countermeasures.
Also Thursday, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivailo Kalfin said NATO should consider extending the defence system to cover all NATO member states. As of now, the system would not be able to protect Southeast Europe, he said, adding that the proposal would be discussed during US President George Bush’s upcoming visit to Bulgaria. (AFP, Xinhua, bTV, BNR – 07/06/07)