Russia Is Fielding Nuclear-Capable Missiles in Territory Bordering NATO

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Dec. 17, 2013, 6:02 a.m.

Rus­sia on Monday re­vealed it had sent bal­list­ic mis­siles to ter­rit­ory that bor­ders sev­er­al NATO na­tions, all of which have voiced alarm over the de­ploy­ment.

Nuc­le­ar-cap­able Iskander mis­siles are be­ing fielded in the Ka­lin­in­grad re­gion — a Rus­si­an ex­clave that bor­ders NATO mem­ber states Po­land and Lithuania, the Rus­si­an De­fense Min­istry dis­closed. The non­stra­tegic mis­siles have top ranges of between 250 and 310 miles, ac­cord­ing to vari­ous me­dia re­ports.

It is not presently known if the mis­siles fielded in the Ka­lin­in­grad are equipped with nuc­le­ar or con­ven­tion­al war­heads. It is also not clear how long they have been de­ployed or what caused Mo­scow to dis­cuss their field­ing, the New York Times re­por­ted

“Iskander rock­et com­plexes are in­deed stand­ing armed with the rock­et and ar­til­lery di­vi­sions in the West­ern Mil­it­ary Dis­trict,” a re­gion that en­com­passes Ka­lin­in­grad, min­istry spokes­man Ig­or Konashen­kov said.

An an­onym­ous high-rank­ing Rus­si­an army of­fi­cial told Izves­tia the mis­siles had been fielded in the area for more than a year.

Mo­scow has warned for a while that it could de­ploy Iskander mis­siles to the Ka­lin­in­grad re­gion in re­sponse to NATO’s on­go­ing ef­forts to con­struct an al­li­ance-wide bal­list­ic mis­sile shield.

Rus­sia has par­tic­u­larly op­posed a U.S. ini­ti­at­ive to field by about 2018 next-gen­er­a­tion mis­sile in­ter­cept­ors in Po­land. Wash­ing­ton main­tains that the in­ter­cept­ors will be fo­cused on coun­ter­ing po­ten­tial me­di­um-range mis­sile as­saults from Ir­an. Rus­sia has called for — to no avail thus far — leg­ally bind­ing as­sur­ances that the U.S. in­ter­cept­ors will nev­er be aimed against its own stra­tegic mis­siles.

U.S. De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel in a Monday video-con­fer­ence with his Rus­si­an op­pos­ite, Sergei Shoigu, said that Wash­ing­ton and NATO would con­tin­ue to de­vel­op the mis­sile shield re­gard­less of re­cent head­way made in resolv­ing long­stand­ing in­ter­na­tion­al con­cerns about Ir­an’s nuc­le­ar cap­ab­il­it­ies, the Xin­hua News Agency re­por­ted.

The Pol­ish De­fense Min­istry said the Iskander de­ploy­ment was “dis­turb­ing” and could lead to “con­sulta­tions and ac­tion … at the NATO and EU level,” Agence France-Presse re­por­ted. Fel­low NATO coun­tries Es­to­nia, Latvia, Lithuania and the United States also have voiced wor­ries about the mis­siles.

“We’ve shared with Rus­sia the con­cerns that coun­tries in the neigh­bor­hood have” re­gard­ing the Iskander de­ploy­ment, U.S. State De­part­ment spokes­wo­man Mar­ie Harf was quoted by the Wall Street Journ­al as say­ing. “We’ve urged Mo­scow to take no steps to destabil­ize the re­gion.”

Latvi­an De­fense Min­is­ter Artis Pab­riks said the mis­siles do “not change the bal­ance of power between NATO and Rus­sia, but it changes bal­ance of power in the re­gion. It threatens sev­er­al Balt­ic cit­ies,” he con­tin­ued in re­marks re­por­ted by AFP.

This art­icle was pub­lished in Glob­al Se­cur­ity News­wire, which is pro­duced in­de­pend­ently by Na­tion­al Journ­al Group un­der con­tract with the Nuc­le­ar Threat Ini­ti­at­ive. NTI is a non­profit, non­par­tis­an group work­ing to re­duce glob­al threats from nuc­le­ar, bio­lo­gic­al, and chem­ic­al weapons.

What We're Following See More »
ALL 100 SENATORS
Dem Senator Calls North Korea Briefing “Sobering”
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
SAYS CLINTON ADMINISTRATION BASICALLY GOT IT RIGHT
Pai Announces Plans to Roll Back Net Neutrality
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Even as he acknowledged the importance of an open internet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday set his telecom agency on a course to scrap the tough, broad net neutrality protections imposed by the Obama administration. During a major speech in Washington, D.C., Pai outlined the need for a total revision of existing federal rules that seek to prevent companies like AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon from blocking or slowing down web content, including the movie or music offerings from their competitors." Separately, Pai told Reason's Nick Gillespie that the Clinton Administration "basically got it right when it came to digital infrastructure. We were not living in a digital dystopia in the years leading up to 2015."

Source:
WILL ANGER CONSERVATIVES
White House to Continue Paying Obamacare Insurers
4 hours ago
BREAKING
LOFTY GOALS
White House Proposes New Tax Plan
4 hours ago
BREAKING

The White House on Wednesday laid out its plan for tax reform, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying it would be "the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country." The tax code would be broken down into just three tax brackets, with the highest personal income tax rate cut from 39.6 percent to 35 percent. The plan would also slash the tax rate on corporations and small businesses from 35 percent to 15 percent. "The White House plan is a set of principles with few details, but it’s designed to be the starting point of a major push to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive tax reform package this year," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

Source:
ORDERED BY PRESIDENT
DHS Launches Office for Victims of Crimes by Immigrants
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today established the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE), as called for in a presidential executive order from January. The new office's website states that its staff "will be guided by a singular, straightforward mission—to ensure victims and their families have access to releasable information about a perpetrator and to offer assistance explaining the immigration removal process."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login