Russia moves Iskander-M missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, to the Kaliningrad region, located on the border with Poland and Lithuania, a senior official of US intelligence told Reuters on Friday.
On Friday, the authorities of Estonia and Finland accused Moscow of new violations of their air space by Russian fighters. The Reuters source confirmed the Estonian media reports.
"Reasons for the delivery of Iskander-M missiles with a range of 500 kilometers can be harmless," the official said on condition of anonymity.
"In the same way, they deployed similar missile systems in Kaliningrad in 2014 for military exercises. Yet it can be a political gesture to express dissatisfaction with the NATO," he said.
Estonian portal ERR.ee, citing its own sources, reported on October 7 that the Russian Baltic Fleet was relocating the operational-tactical missile complex "Iskander-M" under the guise of logistical exercise to the Kaliningrad region.
Estonian Defence Minister Hannes Hanso neither confirmed nor denied the transportation of the Iskander. According to him, there are the channels of information to answer such questions.
He also did not rule out a link between violations of airspace and transportation of the missile system.
"I cannot exclude it - I can say," the Minister of Defence said.
The Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Alexander Grushko, commenting - in late June 2016 - on possibility of Iskander complexes deployment in Kaliningrad, said that Russia does not have any restrictions on the deployment of the systems, but in any case it is necessary to analyze the military situation.
The head of the missile troops and artillery of the Land Forces of the Russian Federation, Major-General Michael Matveevsky stated in May 2015 that a missile brigade of the Russian Armed Forces deployed in the Kaliningrad region will have been rearmed with Iskander-M tactical systems by 2018, like the rest of the missile brigades.
Iskander-M operational-tactical missile complex was adopted by the Russian army in 2006. It is designed to engage targets with high accuracy at a range of 50 to 500 km.