Russia Threatens No One By Deploying Iskander Systems in Kaliningrad


The Kremlin has often said it would put Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad as a riposte to a United States missile shield being developed in Eastern Europe.

Russian Federation has previously sent Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad for drills, but Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said that this time they were being deployed for a "permanent presence".

President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Damir Krstičević, Dutch Minister of Defense Ank Bijleveld, German State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Defense Marcus Grübel and NATO's Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller discussed the strengthening of NATO's defense and security at the Great Lithuanian Hetman Jonušas Radvila Training Regiment in Rukla.

Moscow was reported to have deployed Iskander missiles for exercises in its Kaliningrad exclave in 2016, rattling nearby North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Lithuania's intelligence agencies have said that while the system is not needed for targets in Lithuania's territory, as theoretically they could be taken down by existing capacities, the placement of Iskander systems in Kaliningrad would be potentially more unsafe for Lithuania due to its capacity to hinder allied actions in the region.

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The head of the Russian parliament's defense committee, Vladimir Shamanov, confirmed the missiles' deployment in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.

The Baltic states hope North Atlantic Treaty Organisation will agree on additional air defense capabilities for the region during a Brussels summit in July.

The Russian Baltic Fleet refused to comment on information concerning the deployment of Iskander missile systems to the region, Interfax reported.

Iskander is being stationed in Kaliningrad on Monday, the day Lithuania celebrates a year since the deployment of an global North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battalion. The An-26 had its onboard transponder switched on, maintained radio communication with air traffic controllers and had pre-filed a flight plan.