Russia moves nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad
Reuters, Oct 7 2016
Russia has moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday, adding it was part of routine drills. A Pindo intel boxtop said on Friday that Russia had started moving the Iskanders into the enclave on the Baltic in what he said could be a gesture to express displeasure with NATO. Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that one of the missiles had been deliberately exposed to a Pindosi spy satellite. He said in a statement:
We did not have to wait for too long. Our Pindosi partners confirmed it themselves in their revelatory endeavor. These missile units have been deployed more than once and will be deployed as part of military training of the Russian armed forces.
Lithuania, neighboring Kaliningrad and a member of NATO, said it would protest to Moscow. Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told a news briefing in Vilnius:
The deployment not only increases tensions in the region, but also possibly violates international treaties which limit deployment of ballistic missiles of range of over 500 km. There will be a NATO-Russia Council meeting, and this is shaping up as one of issues on the agenda. We will use all channels available to not only raise this question, but to demand that international agreements are adhered to. Some modifications of the Iskander can hit targets 700 km away, putting Berlin in range of Kaliningrad. This is a usual Russian tactic: escalate tensions, create a discord and then expect concessions elsewhere. I would like to hope that this will not work this time.