On Monday, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters that Russia is deploying more nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the exclave of Kaliningrad, and that the weapons are a threat to “half of all European countries.”
Russia Deploying More Nuclear-Capable Missiles to Kaliningrad
NATO Official Terms Claim a 'Very Serious Matter'
NATO Deputy Secretary Rose Gottemoeller told reporters that the Lithuanian accusation was “a very serious matter.” Russian officials confirmed the deployment, saying it was a response to the US deployment of weapons into the same region.
The 9K720 Iskander is a short-range ballistic missile, which means the “half of Europe” claim isn’t really true. In practice, Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad can hit the Baltic states, and Poland.
Such tit-for-tat deployments have been ongoing in the Baltics for years, and the US-led NATO buildup in this area has come with repeated warnings from Russia that they would retaliate, and Iskanders in particular were a retaliatory deployment for US missile defense systems.