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Missiles in Kaliningrad mark another round of US-Russian military rivalry

B.Obama ir D.Medvedevas
„Reuters“/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Obama and Medvedev
Šaltinis: 15min

The Russian military has started deploying S-400 mobile surface-to-air missiles in Kaliningrad, the enclave bordered by Poland and Lithuania, Izvestia reports, citing unidentified military officials.

The Moscow Times reports that the Russian Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.

S-400s are Russia's most advanced surface-to-air missiles, have a range of 120 to 400 kilometers.

The move comes amid rising tension between the United States and Russia over the former’s plans for a missile-shield system in Europe, part of which would be based in northern Poland.

In November 2011 the Kremlin’s official website suggested Russia could ‘take out’ US missile shields if they are located in Central and Eastern Europe, this after some chat in Washington about renewing the on-off project.

In October 2011 Spain became the fourth European country to agree to participate in the missile defence programme, intended to protect against attacks from Iran, among other so-called 'rogue states,' the other three being Poland, Romania and Turkey.

The most recent move may be intended to bring the US and NATO back to the negotiating table with Russia, after what the US called a "reset" of their relationship in 2009 after Obama came to office.

US President Barack Obama told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he had "little flexibility" to address Russia's objections to a US missile defence shield before his November reelection bid. The US president reportedly said  it was important for Russia to give him "space."

The White House insists it is committed to implementing the missile defence shield, despite Russian objections but said the longstanding and difficult issues meant it would take time to conclude a deal.

Washington and NATO argue that the missile shield is meant to protect Western nations against missile attacks from potential future nuclear powers such as North Korea and Iran.


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