Missile-Defense Sites Lead to Rethink in Kaliningrad

For MTShamanov
Russia may reconfigure its military presence in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad in response to U.S. plans for missile defense sites in Europe, a top general said Wednesday.

General Vladimir Shamanov said the military's General Staff was considering ways to ensure that troops are "capable of guaranteeing the protection of Russian interests," news agencies reported.

Shamanov, the head of the General Staff's combat training department, would not say what specific changes might be made to Russian armed forces in the Kaliningrad region, which borders Poland and Lithuania.

The Kremlin has strongly criticized the U.S. plan to deploy missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, calling them a threat to Russia's security.

President Vladimir Putin has said the country could target prospective missile-defense sites and deploy missiles in the Kaliningrad region if the U.S. pushes ahead with the plans.

Washington says the system is needed to protect the United States and Europe from emerging threats from states such as Iran.