The US has voiced concerns to Russia over missile deployment near its western region and urged Russia not to take destabilizing steps, a State Department spokesperson said Monday.
“We’ve shared with Russia the concerns the countries in the neighbourhood have… regarding Russia’s deployment of the Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. We’ve urged Moscow to take no steps to destabilize the region,” Xinhua quoted State Department spokesperson Marie Harf as saying.
Russia confirmed Monday that it has deployed its tactical Iskander-M missiles along the borders with NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries, but insisted that the deployment did not violate international treaties.
“The deployment of Iskander missile battalions on the territory of the Western Military District does not violate any respective international agreements,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov as saying.
In 2011, the then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev threatened that Russia would station Iskander tactic missiles in Kaliningrad and southern Krasnodar region, should the US implement its phased approach to the anti-missile defence programme, which Moscow has repeatedly warned may cause “ice-age” in relations with the US.