NATO has taken over command and control from the United States of a missile shield being developed in Europe, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says, in a move excepted to contribute to tensions with Russia.
"Today we have decided to declare initial operational capability of the NATO ballistic missile defence system," Stoltenberg says at a summit of the military alliance's leaders in Warsaw.
"This means that the US ships based in Spain, the radar in Turkey and the interceptor site in Romania are now able to work together under NATO command and NATO control," he adds.
Stoltenberg insists that the system is "entirely defensive," is designed to "shield against attacks from outside the euro-Atlantic area," and thus poses "no threat to Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent."
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