6 Nov 2008

Russian to base missiles on EU border

6:51 am on 6 November 2008

Russia is to place short-range missile systems on the EU's eastern border to counter planned American missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Iskander missile systems will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region to neutralise the missile defence system.

He said there will also be "radio-electronic neutralisation" of the new US missile defence installations from the Kaliningrad region.

Kaliningrad is a Russian exclave with a large military base that is wedged between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea coastline.

The Iskander are short-range missiles that use conventional warheads with a range of up to 400km. Mr Medvedev did not give any details on the type of scrambling devices that Russia would deploy in Kaliningrad.

The United States is pursuing plans to build a radar base in the Czech Republic and install interceptor missiles in Poland to counter what it describes as a missile threat from "rogue states" such as Iran.

Russia has said there is no such threat and that the installations are in fact a direct threat to its security.

High-level negotiations between the US and Russia on the installations have ended with no compromise.