Friday, February 19, 2010

Russia renews threats of Iskander deployment

Russia warns that it may deploy Iskander missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea if new threats emerge in Europe.

On Friday, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdiukov made the comment about the deployment of Iskander missiles on the Baltic Sea, after Bulgaria and Romania said they were in talks with the US on hosting elements of its missile system on their soil.

However, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry denied the reports about hosting elements of a US missile system on its soil, and added that it has never held formal negotiations with NATO about participating in the planned US missile system.

The planned deployment of US interceptor missiles in the Black Sea region has triggered fierce criticism from Moscow.

The new US missile system in Europe comes after Washington scrapped earlier plans for deploying a radar and interceptor missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland respectively.

Russia vehemently opposed those plans as well, considering them a threat to its national security. At the time Moscow had again threatened to deploy the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad exclave.

The Iskander missile system is equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage 9M723K1 guided missiles with "quasi-ballistic" capability. The missiles have a range of 400 km (250 miles) and can reportedly carry conventional and nuclear warheads.

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