Russia to counter 'threatening' US deployment of long-range missiles in Germany

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov attends a news conference in Geneva

By Andrew Osborn

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia will act to counter the planned U.S. deployment of long-range missiles in Germany, the Kremlin said on Thursday, as it regarded the NATO military alliance's actions as a serious threat to Russia's national security.

The United States and Germany announced at a NATO summit in Washington on Wednesday that they would begin deploying long-range fire capabilities in Germany in 2026 to demonstrate their commitment to NATO and European defence at a time when Russia is waging war in Ukraine.

They said the "episodic deployments" were in preparation for longer-term stationing that would include SM-6, Tomahawk cruise missiles and hypersonic weapons with a longer range than current capabilities in Europe.

NATO also said on Wednesday that a new U.S. air defence base in northern Poland, designed to detect and intercept ballistic missile attacks as part of a broader NATO missile shield, was mission-ready.

Asked at a briefing with Russian news agencies about the outcome of the NATO summit, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "The North Atlantic alliance has once again very clearly confirmed its essence. It is an alliance created in an era of confrontation with the aim of maintaining confrontation.

"Tensions on the European continent are escalating" as a result, he added, saying the Kremlin was watching as NATO's military infrastructure crept closer.

"We see the decisions taken in NATO to create separate logistics hubs in Black Sea cities, the opening of additional facilities in Europe, and we see that in fact NATO's military infrastructure is constantly and incrementally moving towards our borders," said Peskov.

"This obliges us to analyse very deeply the decisions taken in the discussion that took place. This is a very serious threat to the national security of our country. All of this will require us to take thoughtful, coordinated, effective responses to deter NATO, to counteract NATO."

Since President Vladimir Putin sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022, Peskov has described what Moscow calls its "special military operation" there as a move aimed at securing Russia's own security against the West and a hostile, pro-Western Ukrainian political leadership.

Kyiv and the West dismiss Russia's characterisation of the conflict, saying Moscow is waging an aggressive colonial-style war of conquest in Ukraine, which won independence when the Russian-dominated Soviet Union broke up in 1991.


Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow had anticipated the U.S.-German missile move which he portrayed as being designed to intimidate Russia and which further destabilised regional security and strategic relations.

"The necessary work on the preparation of balancing countermeasures by the relevant Russian state agencies was started well in advance and is being carried out on a systematic basis," Ryabkov said in a statement on his ministry's website.

"Without nerves, without emotions, we will develop a military response, first of all, to this new game," Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

Last month, Putin said Russia should resume production of intermediate and shorter-range nuclear-capable missiles and then consider where to deploy them, after the U.S. brought similar missiles to Europe and Asia.

He had previously spoken of agreeing not to deploy such missiles in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad, but said the U.S. had resumed their production, brought them to Denmark for exercises and also taken them to the Philippines.

Ground-based missiles with a range exceeding 500 km (310 miles) were banned until 2019 under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty signed in 1987 by the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev and then-U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

But the United States withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2019, saying that Moscow was violating the accord, something the Kremlin denied.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn with additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan Editing by Mark Heinrich)