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Russia deploys new S-400 missile systems in its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad

TVN24 News in English

A battalion of S-400 missile defence systems on Friday stepped into combat duty in Russia's Kaliningrad region, the westernmost part of country sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

The battalion became the latest Moscow's addition to battalions of S-400 surface-to-air missiles and nuclear-capable Iskander systems deployed on the Baltic Sea since 2016.

Reports of previous Kaliningrad deployments so close to NATO territory were perceived by some alliance members as a threat at a time when tensions between Russia and its Western neighbours are running high.

Kremlin has previously justified the deployments as purely defensive and often said it was a riposte to a U.S. missile shield being developed in eastern Europe.

Russia's defence ministry says the S-400 systems, known as Triumph, can bring down airborne targets at a range of 400 kilometres and ballistic missiles at a range of 60 kilometres.

"Fort Trump"

President Donald Trump might be rolling back U.S. military commitments in Syria, Afghanistan, South Korea and much of mainland Europe, but there’s one place the opposite is true. The Pentagon is considering a massive new base -- dubbed "Fort Trump" -- in Poland to house a U.S. armoured division.

The reasoning is simple. Poland’s right-wing government, desperate to deter Russia and win U.S. favour, has offered to pay $2 billion, perhaps more, for the presence of U.S. troops. It’s a precedent that alarms many of America’s allies, particularly NATO friends in Europe, and one that the US president seems keen to apply much more widely.

Sanctions for aggression in Ukraine

The United States targeted six Russian individuals and eight organizations on Friday over Moscow's "ongoing aggression in Ukraine," the U.S. Treasury said in a statement.

The action targeted those who played a role in Russian attacks on Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea's Kerch Strait, Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its backing of illegitimate separatist government elections in eastern Ukraine, the statement said.

Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters

Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Forum