- Medvedev decides against Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad
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- Missile bargaining: Iskanders for missile defense
MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Iskander tactical missiles have never been deployed in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad despite the threat to use them in response to U.S missile shield plans, the commander of the Russian Navy said Thursday.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in June that the first Iskander battalion entered service with the Armed Forces in 2008 and the second would become operational in 2009. Their deployment location is kept secret.
"We do not have and never had [Iskander] tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced on September 17 that Washington would not deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran, refocusing U.S. missile defenses on a more flexible approach.
Following Obama's announcement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he decided against deploying Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Region, which Russia had threatened to do if the U.S. went ahead with plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station the Czech Republic.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.