11:05 Nov. 22, 2016
Russia accuses NATO of military expansion reasoning its own aggressive actions, Tom Parfitt, Catherine Philp, Bruno Waterfield, and Michael Savage state in today's The Times article
Russia is deploying short-range ballistic missiles to its western European enclave, it emerged yesterday as President Putin threatened "counter-measures" against NATO expansion. A senior Russian MP said that Moscow would permanently station the nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, a region between the NATO states of Poland and Lithuania, in retaliation for a military build-up by the alliance in eastern Europe.
John Kirby, spokesman for the US State Department, said that the deployment of the missiles was "destabilising to European security". He added: "We call on Russia to refrain from words or deeds that are inconsistent with the goal of promoting security and stability."
A Pentagon official said: "Such a deployment ... would mark an unfortunate and destabilising action. NATO's missile defence system, for which this action by Russia is purportedly a response, is not oriented toward Russia. Like all other US and NATO deployments in eastern Europe, this system is purely defensive and intended to enhance collective security."
In an interview with the film-maker Oliver Stone, broadcast in Russia last night, Mr Putin said that Moscow felt threatened by NATO expansion and would try to counter it. "Why are we reacting to Nato expansion so emotionally? We are concerned by NATO'S decision-making," he said. "We must take counter-measures, that is, strike with our missile systems the targets that in our opinion begin to threaten us."