Russia may deploy missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad by 2019 in response to the US-backed missile shield of NATO, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the military analysts of the Russia’s Defence Ministry.
The sources specify that the Russian Iskander long-range missile systems can be relocated to Crimea in just one day.
“According to estimates, the deployment of the Iskanders in Kaliningrad region is inevitable,” said Mikhail Barabanov, a senior researcher of the Moscow Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, consulting the Russian Defence Ministry.
He also noted that a brigade being stationed there is armed with older shorter-range missiles Tochka-U.
According to Barabanov, the Iskanders deployed in Kaliningrad will be without nuclear warheads. However, they may be delivered there, if necessary.
“The deployment of nuclear warheads in Kaliningrad will be a separate and serious stage of escalation,” he said.
Experts agree that the deployment of missiles with nuclear warheads would be a return to full-blown cold war.
Russia deployed the Iskanders for exercises in Kaliningrad two times, but later withdrew them.
The US military say that the missile shield is not aimed at fight against possible Russian threat, and is designed to repel an attack of such countries as Iran. Russia says it does not believe this explanation.
REFERENCE: Iskander is a mobile ballistic missile system, which replaced the Soviet missiles "Scud" (P-17). Two guided missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers and can carry conventional or nuclear warheads.