President Medvedev pays visit to Russia’s Kaliningrad Region

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived on Tuesday in the country’s western exclave of Kaliningrad for a working visit.

Medvedev’s visit comes after his statement last Wednesday that Russia would move “advanced offensive weapon systems” to its European borders in response to a planned U.S.-backed NATO missile shield if talks on the project fail.

Two days after the presidential statement, the chief of the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces, Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko, said that a new radar station, capable of monitoring missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the future European missile defense system, is ready to be opened in the Kaliningrad Region.

He added that the radar station is ready to go into operation as part of the national missile early warning attack system.

A source in the Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that the radar station will be opened on November 29 and will go on a combat duty starting December 1.

Russia also plans to deploy Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region in the near future.

Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it. Washington, however, has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.

Washington responded by saying it would not alter its plans for a European missile defense project, despite increasingly tough rhetoric from Moscow.


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