The Iskander system could reach the German capital, Berlin [Image: EPA].

The Iskander system could reach the German capital, Berlin [Image: EPA].

How safe do you feel?

Nobody can claim the moral high ground in the sabre-rattling going on across eastern Europe.

I seem to recall Mikhail Gorbachev, or possibly Boris Yeltsin, receiving a promise from Nato that it would not expand into the newly-independent countries following the break-up of the Soviet Union.

Then he woke up one morning and Nato was sitting on his western border. How would we have felt if the roles were reversed?

Now we have Russia deploying missiles that could reach Berlin, possibly in response to Nato deploying troops in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which is allegedly in response to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.

And on it goes. And we all become a little more nervous every day. And that makes us a little more twitchy, and prone to jump to conclusions, and likely to make mistakes.

Look at Syria. Here‘s just one interpretation of the threat to world peace represented by the military situation in that country.

Everybody concerned needs to step back.

They all need to have a serious think – and maybe a couple of conversations – about what little they stand to gain by acting on accusations and suppositions.

And how much we all stand to lose.

Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in its western-most region, Kaliningrad, which borders on Nato members Poland and Lithuania.

Poland said the development was of the “highest concern”, adding it was monitoring the situation.

Russia’s defence ministry said the new deployment was part of military exercises and had happened before.

The US and Nato have seen disagreements with Russia intensify in recent times, particularly over Syria and Ukraine.

Kaliningrad is a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania.

A US intelligence official told Reuters the move could be to express displeasure at Nato. Nato is boosting its eastern flank by deploying four battalions in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia next year.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine provoked considerable alarm in this region that Moscow might also consider aggressive action against countries on Nato’s eastern flank, says the BBC’s Adam Eston in Warsaw.

Nato sought to soothe those fears at its Warsaw summit in July by announcing it would deploy troops to both the Baltic states and Poland, our correspondent says.

Nato said it was a purely defensive action but Moscow sees it as a threat and the deployment of the missiles could be viewed as a counter measure, he adds.

Source: Russia deploys nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad – BBC News

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