Russia stationed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its Kaliningrad region on Monday and intends to leave them there permanently, Lithuania's defense minister and the president said.
Iskander
© RIA/Scanpix

Updates throughout.

"On Monday, Iskander missiles are being stationed in Kaliningrad for permanent presence as we speak (...). This is not just a threat to Lithuania but a half of all European countries," President Dalia Grybauskaitė told journalists in Rukla where she is attending an event to mark 1-year anniversary of the stationing of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Lithuania.

Defence Minister Raimundas Karoblis said Russia used to bring the missile complex to the region wedged between Lithuania and Poland for military drills only, however, "this time the situation is different – it is permanent stationing with all the necessary infrastructure in place."

"Iskander was to be unloaded in the Kaliningrad port at 12 p.m.," Karoblis said in Rukla.

Lithuania's intelligence agencies have said that placement of Iskander systems in Kaliningrad would be potentially more dangerous for Lithuania due to its capacity to hinder Allied actions in the region, while the complex is not needed for targets in Lithuania's territory, as theoretically they could be taken down by the existing capacities.

In response to the permanent stationing of Iskander in Kaliningrad, NATO should start preparations for neutralization of the capacities in the Russian region aimed at restricting the arrival of NATO Allies in the Baltic states in case of a conflict.

The president said the Alliance should make faster decisions, update contingency plans for the Baltic states, facilitate the movement of military troops in the region and ensure air defence.

Iskander is being stationed in Kaliningrad on Monday, the day Lithuania celebrates a year since the deployment of an international NATO battalion.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

German leaders tell Lithuanian president sanctions on Russia to continue

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says he has received assurances from Germany 's leaders that...

State and municipalities receive EUR 190 mln in unplanned revenue

Lithuania's state and municipal budgets received 6.247 billion euros in revenue in January-July,...

Indian vice president to visit Lithuania (2)

Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is to meet with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda during...

President sacks corruption-suspected judge and turns to parliament over two other

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has on Friday dismissed Henrichas Jaglinskis , a judge of...

President rejects government's nominee for EU judge Valancius

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has rejected the government's proposal to re-appoint...