Russia beefs up Baltic Fleet with ships armed with cruise missiles: paper | Reuters

Russia is reinforcing its Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad with two small warships armed with long-range cruise missiles to counter what it sees as a worrying NATO build-up in the region, Russia’s daily Izvestia reported on Wednesday.There was no official confirmation from Moscow, but the report will raise tensions in the Baltic already heightened since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and is likely to cause particular consternation in Poland and Lithuania which share land borders with Kaliningrad.The reported deployment comes at a time when NATO is planning its biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War to counter Moscow and Russian military analysts said the move looked like a direct response to NATO.Izvestia cited an unnamed military source as saying that the two ships, the Serpukhov and the Zeleny Dol, had already entered the Baltic Sea and would soon become part of a newly formed division.The Russian Defence Ministry said earlier this month that the two ships had left their Black Sea base to join Russia’s naval force in the Mediterranean.The Buyan-class corvettes are armed with nuclear-capable Kalibr cruise missiles, known by the NATO codename Sizzler, which the Russian military says have a range of at least 1,500 kilometres (932.06 miles).

Source: Russia beefs up Baltic Fleet with ships armed with cruise missiles: paper | Reuters

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