Lithuania warns NATO about additional Russian missiles in Kaliningrad

Russia has deployed additional Iskander missiles in its exclave of Kaliningrad, said Lithuania’s president Dalia Grybauskaite and Minister of National Defence Raimundas Karoblis on 5 February. Grybauskaite warned that these nuclear-capable missiles will be permanently stationed in the Russian exclave, bringing most European countries and NATO members within their range.

Vladimir Shamanov, head of the Defence Committee for Russia's State Duma, confirmed the deployment of the missiles, which have a scope of about 500 kilometres, in a statement to Russian news agency Interfax without giving further details. Shamanov added that this step is a response to the 4,500 NATO troops present in the Baltic neighbourhood and especially to the number of US weapons in Poland. It also follows the preventive deployment of military jets from the US, Germany and Denmark to the Baltic Sea. The Lithuanian president called on NATO to update its armed forces in the region and work on strategies such as the development of rapid-response forces to reduce the growing Russian threat. Russia has also previously deployed the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad temporarily for military exercises.

About author: Martin Macq

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