Russia Warns of New Missile Deployment
Barack Obama is going to face a lot of challenges when he takes office in January, and it looks like Russia isn't going to give him much of a break. President Medvedev, in an address to the nation today, said Russia may deploy short-range missiles in the exclave of Kaliningrad, on the Polish border, in response to the missile defense system that US is planning to install in Poland. He also blamed the US for the conflict in Georgia, and sais he hopes Barack Obama will take a different tact than his predecessor to thaw relations between Russia and the US.
Kaliningrad, formerly part of Germany before World War II (then known as Konigsberg), is now entirely within the EU, surrounded by Lithuania and Poland. Russia putting missiles there could bring about a new Cuban Missile Crisis situation. Russia already has a significant military presence in Kaliningrad.
In a wide-ranging attack on the United States as it elected a new president, the Russian leader Dmitri A. Medvedev warned on Wednesday that Moscow might deploy short-range missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad to counter a perceived threat from a proposed American missile defense shield in eastern Europe.
His remarks, in his first state of the nation address since assuming the presidency in May, coincided with the election of Barack Obama and offered a chill glimpse into the potential issues and tensions confronting the new American leader when he takes office in January.
Mr. Medvedev did not specifically congratulate Mr. Obama on his victory, saying only that he hoped that “our partners — the new U.S. administration — will make a choice in favor of full-fledged relationship with Russia.”