Nato has warned against starting a new arms race after Russia declared its intention to station short-range missiles near Poland’s border.
Moscow’s announcement, only hours after the US election indicates that Russia’s President Dimitry Medvedev is setting a tough tone for the incoming American leader.
The missiles are in direct response to Washington’s plans to set up a missile defence system in Europe.
Although Medvedev congratulated Barack Obama on his election he was critical of current US foreign policy.
“In order to neutralise the missile defence system, an Iskander missile complex will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region, if necessary”, said Medvedev.
In an assertive first annual address to the nation, Medvedev spelt out other plans.
In particular that along with the weapons an earlier proposal to decommission a missile division in Kozelsk had been scrapped.
Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has lead Europe’s response.
At a news conference in Berlin he said: “President Medvedev’s comments about the missiles in Kaliningrad are certainly the wrong signal at the wrong time.”
The US says their system which is set for Poland and the Czech Republic is aimed at what it calls rogue states and not Russian forces and that Russia has no reason to carry out its plans.