In an interview to be broadcast on state media, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed concern about NATO expansion along the Russian frontier, as well as military buildups in Eastern Europe, insisting it was obliging Russia to take “countermeasures,” adding that he is “concerned by NATO’s decision making.”
The chairman of Russia’s Defense Committee Viktor Ozerov elaborated further in his own comments, saying that Russia is deploying S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems and nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the Kaliningrad exclave.
According to Ozerov, the move is in response to “threats” from NATO, including the US missile defense system, and the growing number of Western troops deployed along the border with Russia. Russia has long threatened the Iskander deployments in response to the missile shield, an argument that dates back to the Bush Administration.
Despite Russia doing exactly what they said they’d do in response to the US doing what they did, US State Department officials appeared shocked by the Russian move, insisting it was destabilizing to the security of all of Europe, and inconsistent with stability.