What likely transpired here is both a ‘signal’ that the EU will not swipe Ukraine away from the Kremlin, and that it can intimidate Europe because it can. The fight for Ukraine has also been going on for years (i.e. Orange Revolution) and is not just a recent event. The Russians, as they were in the past, are masters at turning their provocations around and making it like they’re the injured party. In this case, it’s also NATO fault because of the missile shield. If you want to get deeper in context, it could also be argued that this is a hidden war between Moscow and Berlin, two countries who have always fought over eastern Europe and the Balkans because both realize this is the key to entering the opposition’s territory.
One might scoff at the idea, and that’s fine, but history always repeats itself. Moscow hasn’t changed since the introduction of Leninism, Marxism and Communism — and as Margaret Thatcher had once said: Instead of anchoring Germany to Europe, Europe has been anchored to Germany. Germany is in full control of Europe again and one only has to compare its history to what’s going on today.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has deployed Iskander missiles with a range of hundreds of kilometers in its Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, the newspaper Izvestia reported on Monday.
The Izvestia report came after the German newspaper Bild reported on Saturday that secret satellite imagery showed Iskander-M missiles stationed near the Polish border.
The reports caused alarm in the Baltic states, which are wary of Russian military movements after decades of dominance by the Soviet Union. Their alarm was aggravated by tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
“It’s worrying news from a point of view of military experts,” Latvian Defence Minister Artis Pabrik said on public television. “… It makes the Baltic region and Baltic cities less safe, but it is not something that threatens us more than before, because NATO membership guarantees us quite high overall safety.”
The missiles have been in place “for some time,” according to Izvestia’s source, a high-level Defence Ministry official it did not name. Another unnamed military source said they deployed installed about a year and a half ago.
Asked about the reports, Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Iskanders have been deployed in western Russia but did not specify any location. He said the deployments did not violate any international treaties. Konashenkov could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.
In 2011, along with the specific threat to station Iskanders in Kaliningrad, then-President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia could deploy weapons in its west that would be able to destroy components of the anti-missile shield, which is to be completed after 2020 and includes interceptors missiles and radars.
Already strained by disagreements on issues from energy to human rights, relations between Russia and the West have been worsened by the situation in Ukraine, whose government last month ditched preparations for a trade pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow, its former master.
Full article: Russia has stationed Iskander missiles in western region: reports (Yahoo! News Canada)