On the heels of Russia proclaiming that Baltic Russian-speaking populations are being violated, the deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, Yevgeny Lukyanov, inferred that the former Soviet Baltic territories of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia could be targeted with nuclear weapons if they deploy American anti-missile defense systems in-country.
“They’d better think about other things - the deployment of missile defence system elements that are targeting our strategic nuclear forces, that is where their problem is, as they become our targets,” Mr. Lukyanov told reporters.
“If they like to be targets because of American weapons systems, it is their choice. The logic of the conflict is that nobody wins from a conflict, but somebody finds itself in between [the opposing parties]. Unhealthy agitation of certain states, new members of the Atlantic bloc, is not substantiation of the existence of some threats allegedly coming from us.”
The Obama administration, early on in its first term, cancelled the land-based anti-ballistic missile system that the Bush administration had scheduled to deploy in Poland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe to protect primarily against an Iranian based attack. The administration opted for a broader system using shipborne missiles from Aegis and other naval assets as well. These sea-based systems could be deployed in Baltic ports and would be able to counter Russian missile strikes. These ships in the Baltic Sea seemingly has the Russian defense establishment upset. NATO denies its missile defense capability targets Russian strategic forces.