In a move that sparked little surprise, but some concern, Russia has moved nuclear carrying Iskander missiles in the Baltic Sea city of Kaliningrad.

Polish authorities have expressed concern over the missiles so close to their borders.  Apart for Poland' inclusion in the Nato Alliance, the new bone of contention is a possible repeat of the same scenario if Ukraine joins the EU.  The entry of the Ukraine in the Nato alliance is a real possibility in the future, something that Russia is trying to avoid at all costs.  

Just yesterday, Putin met with the Ukrainian premiere, and reiterated his availability in a financial plan that would bail out the economically struggling country and steer it away from the lure of the EU economic agreements.  Russia is not truly in a position to offer financial assistance to Ukraine, but it sees the loss of influence over its neighbor as a much greater threat than the loss of money it needs to bolster the Ukrainian economy. 

Estonia and Lithuania too have voiced their concern over the placement of Russian missiles in the Baltic region.  

Although militarily the deployment of the missiles was a direct response to the US's NATO shield, which Russia vociferously rejected, the timing seems to indicate that Putin wants to leverage his power in both the Baltic and in the case of the Ukraine. 

Although Russia does have a right to protest the NATO missile deployment so close to its border, what its true concern is that the NATO missile shield could become so vast that it could effectively challenge Russia's own nuclear capabilities. 

Source : France 24/ 12.17.13


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