Support The Moscow Times!

U.S. Fears Russia's Missile Deployment Could Destabilize Europe

An Iskander missile in launch position. Evgeny Stetsko

U.S. officials have said that Russia's reported deployment of nuclear-capable missiles in a western region that borders two NATO countries could destabilize Europe, and have urged Moscow not to further heighten tensions.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday that the deployment of the short-range Iskander missiles does not violate any international agreements. Lithuania and Poland, which border the Kaliningrad region, a western exclave of Russia where the missiles are reportedly stationed, have expressed concerns.

"We've urged Russia to take no steps to destabilize the region," U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said, AFP reported.

"We certainly know the countries in the neighborhood have expressed concerns over it, and we'll keep talking to them about it," Harf said.

Russia declined to provide details of the deployment, which was reported by Germany's Bild daily. A Defense Ministry spokesman said only that Russia had stationed the Iskander missile systems "in the Western Military District" — a broad area comprising much of Russia's west and northwest — adding that the deployment was in line with international treaties.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.