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Press TV – Russia mulling Baltic nuke fleet Sunday, 17 August, 2008

Posted by Farbod in Features.
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Press TV – Russia mulling Baltic nuke fleet.

Sun, 17 Aug 2008 08:01:00 GMT

Russia may arm its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads.

Russia may arm its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads in response to a US plan to build a missile shield in Poland, Sunday Times reports.

The London-based newspaper quoted senior military sources as saying that the Russian nuclear warheads could be supplied to submarines, cruisers and fighter bombers of the Baltic fleet based in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania.

“In view of America’s determination to set up a missile defense shield in Europe, the military is reviewing all its plans to give Washington an adequate response,” a senior military source in Moscow told the Sunday Times.

This comes in response to an agreement signed by the US and Poland allowing a missile defense shield to be deployed in the European country in exchange for Washington’s pledge to boost Warsaw’s air defenses.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier said the deal between the US and Poland showed the rocket shield was really directed against the Russian Federation.

Russia sees the US-Poland deal as a threat to its national security. In view of the recent confrontation with Georgia — a nominee for NATO membership — Russia is now planning new defense strategies namely arming its Baltic fleet with nuclear warheads.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent,” Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, said Friday, in what is viewed as the strongest Russian reaction to the US missile program in East Europe.

The confrontation with Georgia has also become a bone of contention between Moscow and Washington.

Conflict broke out when Georgia used its military to gain full control of South Ossetia, which has been seeking independence from Georgia since the 1991 collapse the Soviet Union.

Russia stepped in to defend South Ossetia, which resulted in a war of words between Kremlin and White House officials, with Washington throwing its weight behind Georgia and advising against violation of its territorial integrity.

The US has been considering a set of punitive measures against Russia including exclusion of Moscow from G8, blocking its accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and canceling a NATO naval exercise with Russia.

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