Reasons Why Russia Is Moving Missiles Into Key European Positions In Anti-Nato Push

Russia has begun moving missiles into key positions facing Nato forces in Europe in the past 48 hours – its most provocative military moves since Donald Trump was elected president.

Three new types of missile, some able to fire nuclear warheads at most parts of Western Europe, are being established in Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave on the Baltic jammed between Poland and Lithuania – both Nato members.

The missiles are the S400, a highly effective air defence setup already being used in Syria, and the Iskander tactical medium range missile, which can carry nuclear warheads.


The Russians say that they sending the missiles into Kaliningrad to counter aggressive moves by Nato in setting up its new anti-missile system in Europe.

This includes dispatching new types of US cruise missiles to Poland and Romania, plus the deployment of thousands of US, British, and allied troops on exercise in Poland and the Baltic states.

The question is why Moscow is moving the missiles now – just as president-elect Trump has said he wants talks with president Putin?

Putin’s spokesman, Dimitry Peskov, says it’s because Russia needs to respond to “the expansion of Nato towards its borders. The alliance really is an aggressive bloc.”

Russia has been extremely, and very visibly, busy on the missile front. It has started exercises with mobile missiles, again with nuclear capability, carried on trains – a system not used since Soviet times.

It has also sent new anti-ship missiles to Kaliningrad, the Crimea, and the Kuril islands in the Pacific – whose sovereignty it disputes with Japan.

The Japanese have reacted furiously at the deployment of the new Bastion anti-ship batteries. Russia has tried to play the row down by saying a planned Putin visit to Tokyo will go ahead.

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The deployments of the new missile arrays – and the establishment of the S400 and Iskander batteries on the Kaliningrad peninsula look pretty permanent – is setting up a flurry of political reaction.

The outcome is unpredictable and may not be what Moscow wants – and very likely the very opposite.

Both neutral Sweden and Finland are indicating they may now apply for full membership of Nato because of the continual provocations of Russian forces.

Both have seen probes by Russia air and sea forces, and even simulated nuclear attacks against their cities.

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