Russia softens stance on Kaliningrad missile base

Russia’s foreign minister has said his country will abandon plans to station missiles on the Polish border if the US, in turn, scraps its idea to base part of a missile shield in eastern Europe.

President Dmitri Medvedev announced the counter-measure the day after the US election last week.

But, during a press conference ahead of this Friday’s EU-Russia summit, Sergei Lavrov said the Iskander short-range weapons would only be deployed to the enclave of Kaliningrad if the US decided to go ahead with its plans.

Moscow has stated repeatedly that the proposal is a direct threat to Russia’s national security, but the US claims it is meant to protect it and its allies from attack by what it terms “rogue states”.

US President-elect Barack Obama has made no commitment to proceed with the plans to base ten missile interceptors in northern Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic.

The EU has already expressed deep concern over Moscow’s proposal to base the missiles on the Polish border.

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