Russia has set Iskander missiles in its Baltic Sea exclave

17 December 2013 10:52

Russia has deployed Iskander missiles with a range of hundreds of kilometers in its Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, the pro-Kremlin newspaper Izvestia reported, Reuters informs.

The missiles have been in place "for some time," according to Izvestia's source, a high-level Defence Ministry official it did not name.

The reports caused alarm in Poland and the Baltic states, which are wary of Russian military movements after decades of dominance by the Soviet Union. Their alarm was aggravated by tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

"It creates unnecessary political tension and suspicions and reduces mutual trust because we don't see reason why Russians would need such weapons here, Artis Pabriks, defense minister of nearby Latvia told. I think it's just to show who is the boss in the region"- he added.

Russia said in 2011 it might put Iskanders in Kaliningrad, its westernmost region, as part of a response to an anti-missile shield the United States is building in Europe with help from NATO nations. There have been media reports since of plans to deploy the missiles but no confirmation it had happened.