TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Russia is again deploying nuclear-capable Iskander missiles into its Kaliningrad outpost bordering two NATO members, Lithuania said Saturday.
"Russia is holding military exercises in Kaliningrad, and its scenario includes deployment of Iskander missile systems and the possible use of them. We are aware of it," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP.
He said modified Iskander missiles had a range of up to 700 kilometers (440 miles) which means they could reach German capital Berlin from the Russian exclave, which is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.
Moscow also sent Iskanders to Kaliningrad in 2015 as part of a series of mammoth military drills amid heightened tensions with the West over Ukraine.
Linkevicius said that this time he thought Moscow was using the move to "seek concessions from the West".
Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz Saturday in Warsaw called Russia's "activities very alarming", but declined to say whether he knew about any fresh deployment of Iskanders to Kaliningrad.
Estonian media reported Friday that Russia was shipping Iskanders on a civilian vessel in the Baltic sea.
Linkevicius declined to comment on the details.
Military tensions between Russia and the US further heightened in May, when American and NATO officials activated a land-based missile system in Romania, despite Russia’s warning against US-led arms deployments near its borders.
The missiles’ activation marked the penultimate step in the completion of a missile shield, which Washington proposed nearly a decade ago.
Russian President Vladimir Putin strongly criticized the system’s deployment, vowing to neutralize any threats against his country’s security.