NATO’s Secretary General has said he is concerned about Russia’s deployment of Iskander ballistic missiles to the Kaliningrad exclave bordering Poland.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of the military alliance’s defence ministers in Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, Jens Stoltenberg said: “The deployment of the Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad is yet another example of a Russian military buildup close to NATO borders.”
He noted that Iskander ballistic missiles can carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.
“Of course we are concerned about the Russian military buildup close to NATO borders and we see it in the east but we also see it in the south and Syria, close to Turkey,” Stoltenberg said.
He added: “We are responding in a responsible way but not overreacting.”
On Tuesday the NATO chief announced the Western military alliance will have four multinational battalions in place in Poland and three Baltic countries from early 2017.
NATO country leaders decided at a Warsaw summit in July to deploy four rotating battalions to the alliance’s eastern flank amid fears of potential Russian aggression.
Russia confirmed earlier this month that Iskander ballistic missiles, with a range of 500-700km, had reached the Kaliningrad region “as part of routine manoeuvres”. (pk)