Russia rattles Baltic neighbours by shipping Iskander missile system to Kaliningrad

By bne IntelliNews October 9, 2016

Russia has moved a nuclear-capable Iskander missile system to the Kaliningrad enclave, the defence ministry in Moscow said on October 8, confirming earlier reports by alarmed Estonia.

Russia’s step up of its military presence in Kaliningrad has become a serious concern for Nato neighbours Poland and the Baltic states in recent years. The move was not entirely unexpected, however, given the exclave’s strategic importance for Moscow in an atmosphere of heightened tension with the West.

Estonian officials raised the alarm the previous day after having learned Russia was shipping the Iskander-M missile system, which has a range of 500 kilometres, aboard a bulk cargo vessel from Ust-Luga to Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region. Russia dismissed the concerns, claiming the move was not covert and the intention was to “specify parameters of operation of a US reconnaissance satellite,” ERR reported.

“Contingents of missile troops have been moved many times and will continue to be moved to the Kaliningrad region as part of a Russian armed forces training plan,” a spokesman added.

Predictably, the Russian move put the Baltic states and Poland on alert. “In the long term, Russia’s wish is to bring the Baltic Sea and the passages leading to it more and more under its control, and to control it much like it does the Black Sea,” Chief of Staff of the Estonian Defence Forces Riho Terras said.

“Such actions are possible violations of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty; they increase tension in the region, undermine trust, and have a negative impact on security in the region,” the Lithuanian foreign ministry said in a statement.

“That is yet another indication of Russia’s aggressive stance toward NATO countries and proof of the necessity to fully implement the decisions on strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence posture taken at the NATO Summit in Warsaw,” the ministry added.

Polish think tank the Centre of Eastern Studies (OSW) noted that placing the Iskander system in the Kaliningrad region has been Russia’s intention since at least 2012. Moscow has long maintained a missile troops brigade in the region, although with the older Tochka missile system that has shorter range and is not capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

At its July summit in Warsaw, Nato declared plans to boost troop and weapons on its eastern European flank as a response to heightened geopolitical tension with Russia. The alliance announced at its summit in Warsaw that it will station a rotational battalion of 1,000 troops in each Baltic state and Poland from 2017.

 

 

 

Related Articles

Latvia fines Swedbank for failings in anti money laundering measures

The Latvian branch of the Swedish banking group Swedbank said on November 23 it will implement measures to curb money laundering. The pledge follows an audit and a fine of €1.36mn from the ... more

Visegrad views on EU at odds with policy

At odds with the stance of their respective governments, Czechs are the most sceptical in Central Europe that EU membership is good for their country, while Poles are the most convinced, a survey ... more

Latvian gas monopolist to establish pipeline spin-off in December

A shareholders meeting at Latvijas Gaze (LG) will on December 22 officially found a company that will be used to spin-off the country's gas pipelines and storage facilities, the Latvian gas ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss