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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Reports: Kaliningrad Has Arms

OSLO, Norway — U.S. intelligence has comprehensive evidence that Russia moved nuclear weapons into Kaliningrad, a leading Norwegian newspaper claimed. The news media in neighboring Sweden has made similar claims.

For months, Russia has denied reports that it secretly moved atomic weapons into Kaliningrad.

U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity in January, said there were strong indications of such a deployment, but Washington has offered no public confirmation.

The respected Oslo newspaper Aftenposten said last week that top military officers in Norway — a NATO member — confirmed the existence of U.S. intelligence reports on the deployment and said the reports cover a Russian nuclear weapons buildup in the Baltic Sea area.

Moscow opposed the 1999 expansion of NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and it fears that a possible expansion to include the former Soviet Baltic states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia could be a potential military threat.

Aftenposten said the weapons were transported to St. Petersburg on a special train, then shipped to Kaliningrad on Russian navy ships. The newspaper said all top Norwegian officers it talked to confirmed the report, but they refused to go on the record.

The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet also last week said that U.S. satellites tracked the weapons on that route to a Kaliningrad airfield.

"There are nuclear weapons there," a U.S. government representative was quoted as telling Svenska Dagbladet on condition of anonymity.

"If Russia has deployed tactical nuclear arms in Kaliningrad and at the same time denies this, it is very serious," said Stefan Noreen of the Swedish government's European Union unit.

The Norwegian Supreme Defense Command and the Defense Ministry both declined comment.

"The defense minister has said he is aware of the claims about Kaliningrad but we can't comment on any intelligence reports as a matter of principle," said ministry spokesman Kirsti Skjerven.