Iskander missiles said best against shield

Nov. 5, 2008 at 3:03 PM
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MOSCOW, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Russia's best bet to counter planned U.S. missile shield bases in Eastern Europe would be to place short-range missiles in Kaliningrad, an analyst says.

Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Russian Military Forecast Center think tank, agreed that President Dmitry Medvedev's threat to place such tactical Iskander missiles in the Baltic enclave would be the most efficient way to target the planned missile shield bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, RIA Novosti reported.

Medvedev, speaking before the Russian Parliament during his inaugural State of the Union speech, said Russia would be "forced" to deploy such weapons to counter the missile shield plan, which Washington says is meant not as an encroachment on Russia's sphere of influence, but to protect Europe from missile launches by "rogue states" such as Iran.

"We could have deployed either strategic bombers or silo-based ballistic missiles in response to the U.S. missile shield in Europe," Tsyganok told Novosti. "However, Iskander is the best solution both from an economic and a military standpoint."

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