MOSCOW: Russia had the right to deploy its missiles anywhere within its territory, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday, in a response to Western concerns over its deployment of state-of-the-art missiles near NATO’s eastern borders.
“Recently a big fuss started that we’ve planted our (tactical missiles) Iskanders in a wrong place,” he told a meeting with students in a Moscow institute.
“We may plant them wherever we want on the Russian territory,” the Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
Russia said Monday that it has deployed its tactical Iskander-M missiles along the borders with NATO countries, and insisted that the deployment did not violate international treaties.
On the same day, the United States voiced its concerns to Russia over the missile deployment in its western Kaliningrad region and urged Moscow not to undertake “destabilizing steps.”
Shoigu said Moscow was not going to sit idly watching on the U. S. deployment of the anti-missile defense shield in Europe.
“Our scientists, designers and plants work very efficiently. Russian weapons are powerful, mobile and efficient. We’ve got (something) to respond,” the minister said.
In 2014, Russia would complete deployment of its troops in the western and eastern Arctic archipelagos “to secure the entire belt,” he said. PNA