Russia says moves nuclear-capable missiles into Kaliningrad for drills

A Russian serviceman walks past Russian Iskander-M missile launchers before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade at range in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia has moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland and Lithuania, the Defence Ministry said on Saturday, adding this was part of routine drills involving such missiles across its territory.

“These missile units have been deployed more than once (in the Kaliningrad region)… and will be deployed as part of military training of the Russian armed forces,” ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

A U.S. intelligence official said on Friday that Russia had started moving the Iskander-Ms into its westernmost region in what he said could also be a political gesture to express displeasure with NATO.

Konashenkov said one of the missiles had been deliberately exposed to a U.S. spy satellite. “We did not have to wait for too long – our American partners confirmed it themselves in their revelatory endeavor,” he said.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; editing by John Stonestreet)