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Deployment of Russia's armaments in Kaliningrad region limits NATO’s capabilities — expert

February 09, 20:02 UTC+3 LONDON
"Western military technological superiority, a core assumption of the past two decades, is eroding", John Chipman said during presentation of The Military Balance 2016 report
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© Sergei Bobylev/ITAR-TASS

LONDON, February 9. /TASS/. Deployment by Russia of its state-of-the-art armaments in the Kaliningrad Region, a Baltic exclave, limits NATO’s capabilities in the Baltic region, Director-General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies John Chipman said during presentation of The Military Balance 2016 report.

"Much of NATO's post-2014 assurance for its Eastern members is based on the understanding that countries at risk could be rapidly reinforced. Russia's deployment of military equipment that can impede access to, and constrain freedom of action in, the Baltic region raises questions around this plan as well as the Alliance's capabilities in Europe," Chipman said.

"For instance, Russia has deployed capabilities in its Western Military District that can impede access to and constrain freedom of action in the Baltic region. These include the S-400 long-range air defense system and the MiG-31BM combat aircraft," the report said.

"During a snap exercise in early 2015, Moscow moved Iskander-M short-range ballistic missiles into Kaliningrad. With a reported range of up to 500 kilometers," it said.

"However, the advanced systems now in service with Russia's armed forces, like the Kh-101 and Kh-555 air-launched cruise missiles and the Kalibr naval cruise missile have even greater stand-off ranges," the report said.

It said Russia and China showed new armament systems, including improved ballistic and cruise missiles, as well as armored hardware. Russia, in particular, presented at a Victory Day parade its new Armata tank, made with the use of innovation technological developments and radically different from the previous Russian projects.

"For Western military powers, unfettered access is no longer a given, nor is technological superiority. Western military technological superiority, a core assumption of the past two decades, is eroding. Slowing this emerging trend or reversing it will be a key pre-occupation of Western strategists in the coming decade," it said.

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