Russian Iskanders to Moldova Region?
In response to U.S. plans to deploy missile defense shields to Poland and the Czech Republic, Russia threatened to send short-range Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, near the Polish border. After President Barack Obama took office, Russia rescinded the threat.
It was speculated that Russia changed its mind because the Obama administration seemed to be taking an appeasement approach in exchange for the former Soviet Union’s help with Iran.
That help never panned out. In fact, Russia made a deal to sell S-300 missiles to Iran, and has refused to issue tougher sanctions against the country, even as Iran announced its intend to develop high-grade nuclear fuel and enrich more uranium.
No doubt Russia hoped the Obama administration would put missile deployment to Eastern and Central Europe on hold. Those hopes were dashed. Not only is the U.S. deploying shields to Poland and Romania, it plans to beef up missile defense in the Persian Gulf.
According to Reuters, it looks like the Iskander threat is back in play.
Transdniestria, a region of Moldova, said it’s open to hosting Russian missiles “As far as the Iskander…is concerned,” said leader Igor Smirnov, “we have long said we are ready.”
Moldava’s acting president rejected that claim, however, calling Transdniestria “an artificial creation” with no authority to speak for relations between Moldova and Russia.
But what does Russia say?