Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has said he wants to deploy Russian Iskander missiles in his country amid growing tensions over the migration crisis on the Belarus-Poland border.
The EU accuses Lukashenko of orchestrating the crisis by channeling thousands of migrants from the Middle East to Belarus’ border with the EU and encouraging them to enter Poland illegally.
The EU is preparing to respond with a new round of sanctions against Minsk this week, according to a statement by Josep Borrell. Lukashenko has already threatened to respond to sanctions by shutting down gas supplies to the EU and blocking imports from Belarus.
In an interview published Saturday in a Russian magazine, he said he wanted to acquire Russian Iskander missiles in Belarus that could carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads.
It is recalled that Lukashenko has publicly disagreed with the decision to transfer nuclear weapons held by Belarus during the Soviet era, which transfer ended in 1996. Belarus has also stopped transporting enriched uranium to Russia, which could possibly mean an ambition to arm those missiles with this weaponized uranium.
“Iskander 9K720″ is developed by the Research and Production Corporation “Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering” (KBM) in the city of Kolomna, Moscow region.
The main purpose of the Iskander missile systems is the destruction of the enemy’s air defense and missile defense systems, as well as the most important objects covered by them, at ranges up to 500 km
For the first time, the Iskander missile system was presented in August 1999 at the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS) in the city of Zhukovsky, Moscow Region
According to Western analysts, the Iskander OTRK, along with such air defense systems as the S-400 and coastal anti-ship complexes of the Bastion class, plays a key role in the concept of the Russian Armed Forces, known in the West as the “anti-access zone (Anti-Access/Area Denial, A2/AD), which is that NATO troops cannot be located and move within range of the A2/AD no-go zone without the risk of suffering unacceptable damage.
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