Analysts: Russia Likely to Put Nuke-Capable Missiles on NATO Frontier by 2019

Russia Has Been Threatening Such Deployments for Years Over Missile Defense

by Jason Ditz, June 23, 2016

Several analysts are predicting that Russia will be deploying its nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to their exclave of Kaliningrad by 2019, a move which would add to the growing number of military assets both sides are pumping into northeastern Europe.

Such a move should perhaps be unsurprising for NATO, as Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev announced Russia’s intentions to do this in respond to US missile defense deployments in Eastern Europe way back during the Bush Administration, and President Obama kept the missile defense program moving forward, launching it earlier this year.

Some analysts are suggesting that Russia was keen to do such a deployment either way, and that they are simply using the missile defense system as an excuse to provide political cover for what would otherwise be very controversial deployments.

If that is in fact the case, it still represents another blunder on NATO’s part, and particularly the US, in providing Russia with an excuse they wanted, in return for a missile defense scheme that is costly and of little practical utility.

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