Russia transported a sophisticated nuclear-capable missile system toward its territorial exclave bordering Poland, based on Western government officials, presenting a powerful military resource into an already tense region and forcing expressions of consternation by allied officials.
A Russian naval ship, as outlined by the officials, was seen carrying an Iskander missile system toward the country’s Kaliningrad port. Kaliningrad is a seaside exclave of Russian territory in between Poland and Lithuania.
Western officials stated they think Moscow deployed the missiles on a temporary basis as a show of strength as its relations with the U.S. reach a low.
A Russian official emailed by FLI refused to immediately comment.
Russia has stationed the system in Kaliningrad before-but only briefly, for military exercises. The Kremlin has threatened to deploy the Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad on a permanent basis in reaction to the construction of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Poland.
Reports of Iskander-M missiles being moved to outpost between Poland and Lithuania fuels fears that Russia is seeking to expand control of Baltic Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended an agreement with the US on the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.
Moscow accuses Washington of “unfriendly actions”.
Putin’s actions were followed by the US’ decision of suspending Syria ceasefire talks with Russia.
Russia is moving nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad, a tiny Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania, a U.S. intelligence official said Friday, confirming Estonian news reports.
Russia deploys nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad
Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its western-most region, Kaliningrad, which borders on Nato members Poland and Lithuania.
Poland said the development was of the “highest concern”, adding it was monitoring the situation.
Russia’s defence ministry said the new deployment was part of military exercises and had happened before.
The US and Nato have seen disagreements with Russia intensify in recent times, particularly over Syria and Crimea.
Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
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The Iskander system has a range of up to 700km (440 miles) and could reach the German capital, Berlin.
Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz called Russia’s activities “very alarming”.
And a US intelligence official told Reuters the move could be to express displeasure at Nato. Nato is boosting its eastern flank by deploying four battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia next year.
But Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said the deployment was “not exceptional”.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine provoked considerable alarm in this region that Moscow might also consider aggressive action against countries on Nato’s eastern flank, says the BBC’s Adam Eston in Warsaw.
Nato sought to soothe those fears at its Warsaw summit in July by announcing it would deploy troops to both the Baltic states and Poland, our correspondent says.
Nato said it was a purely defensive action but Moscow sees it as a threat and the deployment of the missiles could be viewed as a counter measure, he adds.
Iskanders were sent to Kaliningrad during military drills last year.
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continue to test relations with Western powers.
Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia are among nations reporting recent air-space violations by Russia’s military.
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