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U.S. Concerned by Russia’s Missile Deployment

Russian Army Iskander missiles
Russian Army Iskander missiles/ AP
• December 17, 2013 1:36 pm

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The United States has communicated to Russia its concerns that the deployment of nuclear capable weapons to the Baltic Sea region would have a destabilizing effect.

The State Department announced that Russia recently sent short-range Iskander missiles into Kaliningrad, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

"We've shared with Russia the concerns that countries in the neighborhood have…regarding Russia's deployment of the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. We've urged Moscow to take no steps to destabilize the region," said Marie Harf, deputy State Department spokeswoman.

Kaliningrad isn't contiguous with Russia. It shares borders with Poland and Lithuania. Both of those countries, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also expressed concern on Monday about the Russian deployments, the Associated Press reported.

Ms. Harf said the missile deployment occurred fairly recently, and said U.S. officials would continue discussing the issue with Moscow.

Russian officials have said in the past that the country would deploy missiles in response to U.S.-led NATO missile-defense plans in Europe. The U.S. expects to put land-based missile interceptors in northern Poland by 2018 as part of a system to defend against Iran.

The Department of Defense told the Journal that the missiles had been in the Baltic region for "a while" and that the secretary has discussed them with Russian officials.

Published under: Russia