Years of disputes over a US missile defense system being built along the Russian frontier with the EU have gone unresolved, and the Russian government has followed through with a retaliatory deployment of nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the area near the border.
The issue of US missile defense was shrugged off in the START treaty, and Russia has for years said that if it wasn’t eventually resolved they’d have to put more Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad to shore up their retaliatory capabilities.
The US insists that the missile defense system isn’t targeted at Russia, and condemned Russia today for “destabilizing” the region with the new deployment.
At the same time, the defense system is built provocatively close to Russia and despite nominally targeting Iran, is outside the range of Iranian missiles. The deployments don’t violate existing treaties on force limits in Europe, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.