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Decision to deploy Iskander ballistic missile systems in Kaliningrad region not taken yet

December 19, 2013, 13:08 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19. /ITAR-TASS/. The decision to deploy the Iskander tactical ballistic missile systems in the Kaliningrad region has not been taken yet, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said at an annual ‘grand’ news conference.

“I would like to draw your attention to the fact that firstly, we have not taken such a decision yet, let them be calm,” Putin said, referring to the alarm of Poland and the Baltic states caused by recent media reports saying Russia has deployed Iskanders in Kaliningrad. “Secondly, there is no need to protect anyone. Only no one should be provoked to take response action,” the president warned.

He said that Iskander was not the only means of Russia’s protection and response to emerging threats. Isklander is only an element of a possible response, which is far from being the most effective. Although in its segment it is the world’s most effective weapon,” the RF head of state stressed.

Putin noted that American tactical weapons are deployed in Europe that are “not controlled by any of the European states.” Also, a new segment of the American tactical weapons appears on the fringes of Europe - missile defence.

“We have many times said that missile defence creates a threat to our nuclear potential. So, we must respond to it somehow,” Putin said.

He added that Dmitry Medvedev when he had been on the post of the RF head of state had talked of the Iskanders deployment in the Kaliningrad region. “There is nothing new in this,” the president stated.

The United States started to develop its missile defence system in 2002. It was officially named then National Missile Defence (NMD). It was aimed at the protection of the U.S. and allied territories from ballistic missiles of Iran and North Korea.

With the advent of President Barack Obama’s rule in 2009, the programme was revised. The new architecture, which became widely known as a non-strategic adaptive approach missile defence strategy, uses both stationary and mobile missile systems of small and medium range, mainly sea-based.

The creation of this system was originally planned to be implemented in four phases. The first of them has already been implemented - 30 silo-based missile interceptors have been deployed in the United State; the onshore and offshore systems (Patriot complexes) have been deployed in Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Bahrain; a radar of the early warning system is deployed in Turkey; there are ships equipped with the Aegis systems and Standard-3 interceptor missiles in the Mediterranean.

At the second and third phases, the Standard-3 missiles will be upgraded. The fourth phase is planned until 2020. It was planned that by that time the modernised Standard-3 would be replaced with more advanced missiles. However, in March 2013, the U.S. administration abandoned these plans, but still planned to deploy 14 interceptor missiles in Alaska and the deployment of a second radar station in Japan.

In addition, it plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Romania (by 2015) and in Poland (by 2018).

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