Kaliningrad: In response to US President Barack Obama’s decision to scrap plans for a missile shield in Central Europe, Russia on Friday reportedly suspended plans to position short-range missiles in Kaliningrad.
As per the latest news report, a military source has told the Interfax news agency that Iskander missiles would not be deployed in Kaliningrad.
“Undoubtedly, Washington`s cancellation of its missile defence facilities will not remain unnoticed,” the source said.
“The array of measures which were planned in response to the deployment of the missile defence sites in Europe will be frozen, and will possibly be completely cancelled,” he added.
The source specified that one of the key measures being frozen was a plan to place short-range Iskander missiles in Russia`s westernmost Kaliningrad exclave, next to EU members Poland and Lithuania.
He said that Russia would also re-examine other military countermeasures that it had considered in response to the US missile shield.
Those ideas included a plan to place nuclear-capable T-22 strategic bombers in Kaliningrad and to equip Russia`s ballistic missile arsenal with technical features allowing them to evade US missile defences, the source said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had said on Thursday that Russia valued US President Barack Obama`s decision to scrap plans for a missile shield in Central Europe.
Obama announced earlier Thursday that Washington was dropping its previous plans to deploy elements of a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland because the Iran threat is perceived in a different way.
The Bush administration sought to deploy a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland as defence against potential strikes from Iran. Russia has consistently opposed the plans as a threat to its security and the strategic balance of forces in Europe.
Medvedev said that Russia "noted President Obama`s announcement on the adjustment of the US`s approach to the issue of missile defence."
"We value the responsible approach of the US President to our agreement. I am ready to continue our dialogue," Medvedev said.
The Russian and US leaders had discussed the issue during Obama`s visit to Moscow in July and during their first meeting in London at the start of April.