US will likely respond to Russian activity by deployment of anti-missile system in Baltics

  • Roksolana Dryndak
  • 17.5.2017 12:00

During a press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Wednesday, 10 May, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis expressed concerns regarding Russia's planned military exercise and its increasing military activities in the Baltic region, which he described as destabilising. He also claimed that an appropriate response could be the deployment of a Patriot missile defence system during NATO's summer military exercise "Tobruk Legacy", which will focus on air defence.

Russia scheduled a military exercise called "the West" for September, which is supposed to take place in the governorate Kaliningrad and roughly 100,000 soldiers will take part in it. There are justified concerns that the superpower could use it as an excuse for withdrawing its troops to borders with NATO countries and then station them at bases in Belarus. Russia has already permanently deployed its Iskander missile system in the exclave, the missiles of which have a range of up to 500 km and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Patriot system should serve as a demonstration of strength and American readiness to defend the interests of even the smallest members of the Alliance.

About author: Roksolana Dryndak

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