In Berlin “very carefully and with some concern” watching the deployment of Russian missile complexes “Iskander” in the Kaliningrad region. About it in interview to”Interfax” said the foreign Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, on the eve of visit to Russia. On 9 March, the German Minister will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.
Over the past few days, this is the second statement of the German authorities about their test anxiety in connection with the transfer of Russia “Iskander”. A week ago Commissioner of the Federal government for disarmament and arms control in the German foreign Ministry Patricia Flor said to “Interfax” that “the deployment of missiles “Iskander-M” in Kaliningrad does not contribute to building trust, because the missiles that they placed, can reach Berlin”.
“If the missiles “Iskander-M” was deployed in the Kaliningrad region on a permanent basis, this would give us cause for serious concern and would be a setback to the process of European security,” said Sigmar Gabriel. Earlier, the defense Ministry said that before the end of this year Russia will finish upgrading missile systems in the Kaliningrad region, “Iskander-M”, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
In October last year, the Russian defense Ministry confirmed that in connection with the increase in the military contingent of NATO in the Baltics and Eastern Europe in the Kaliningrad region deployed missile complexes “Iskander”. Representatives of the Baltic countries and the USA, commenting on the news, accused Moscow of fueling tensions in the region and regarded this step as an inadequate response to the actions of the Alliance.
Patricia Flor, answering the question whether Germany to take unilateral retaliatory measures to the deployment “Iskander”, said that if Berlin will take any action, that will align them with NATO. However, Germany is committed to maintaining a dialogue with Russia, she said.
Earlier, NATO considered the transfer of missiles a manifestation of “aggressive military strategy” of the Russian Federation. In the official statement of the Alliance said that “the deployment of the complex near the borders of the Alliance is not conducive to lowering tensions or to restore predictability in our relations.”
In November last year, the U.S. state Department spokesman John Kirby saidthat the deployment of “Iskander” and anti-aircraft missile systems s-400 in the Kaliningrad region destabilizie European security. In response, the official representative of the defense Ministry Igor Konashenkov said that the real security threat is not Russia, but NATO’s actions to increase the presence of NATO forces in Eastern Europe. In turn, the press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov said about the right of Moscow to secure its borders against the background of NATO expansion to the East.