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Published: 26 march 2012 17:11

Russia's weaponry in Kaliningrad is not to be matched by Baltic states or NATO

NATO, Europos Sąjungos ir Lietuvos vėliavos
Alfredo Pliadžio nuotr. / .

Lithuanian Minister of National Defense Rasa Juknevičienė has said that neither the Baltic states nor NATO plan such military capabilities as the ones being developed by Russia in Kaliningrad.

Juknevičienė, who spoke at a press conference held at the ministry on Monday to mark the eight anniversary of Lithuania's NATO membership, also said that Russia's increasing military power in Kaliningrad is a negative change for the region's security environment.

"A new missile system S-400 has been deployed and it's changing the defense potential in this region. Modern submarines are also being deployed in Kaliningrad region, and there are also plans to soon deploy a complex of surface-to-surface type missiles Iskander," Juknevičienė said.

"Tactical nuclear weapons are also being maintained, and installations are taking place in Kaliningrad," she said.

The Lithuanian defense minister added that there's been an increase in the activities of Russian air forces over the Baltic Sea.

"Neither NATO, nor we are planning or developing similar capabilities, tactical weaponry that could match those observed on the Russian side in recent years," Juknevičienė said.

She refused, however, to disclose the sources for her claims that nuclear weapons are being deployed in Kaliningrad.

"We are convinced that the Russian Federation has all means to deploy them there. It's the reality, it's nothing new, these are things inherited from the Soviet period. (…) In fact, the abundance of nuclear weapons in the Russian Federation is a problem, and the international community should be concerned about that," the minister said.

Talking about positive changes in the region, Juknevičienė pointed to Sweden's "refusal of neutral policy", the United Kingdom's active participation in Northern European defense cooperation as well as to NATO-drafted defense plans for the Baltic states.

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