Russia Deploying More Nuclear-Capable Missiles to Kaliningrad

NATO Official Terms Claim a 'Very Serious Matter'

On Monday, Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters that Russia is deploying more nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to the exclave of Kaliningrad, and that the weapons are a threat to “half of all European countries.”

NATO Deputy Secretary Rose Gottemoeller told reporters that the Lithuanian accusation was “a very serious matter.” Russian officials confirmed the deployment, saying it was a response to the US deployment of weapons into the same region.

The 9K720 Iskander is a short-range ballistic missile, which means the “half of Europe” claim isn’t really true. In practice, Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad can hit the Baltic states, and Poland.

Such tit-for-tat deployments have been ongoing in the Baltics for years, and the US-led NATO buildup in this area has come with repeated warnings from Russia that they would retaliate, and Iskanders in particular were a retaliatory deployment for US missile defense systems.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.