NATO has warned Russia that the deployment of fighter jets armed with hypersonic missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave does not help to reduce geopolitical tensions and assured that it will defend “every centimeter of allied territory”.
A NATO spokesperson explained to the Europa Press news agency that Kaliningrad is a “highly militarized area, part of Russia’s military escalation along NATO’s borders”, in this case, close to Poland and Lithuania, both member countries of the alliance.
“Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine has altered the security situation in Europe and it is difficult to see how this deployment can help reduce tensions,” the spokesman said.
NATO also recalled that it has reinforced its deterrence and defense capabilities on the eastern side and that it is closely monitoring the situation in the region.
According to the spokesman, the international organization “will defend every centimeter of allied territory”, in line with the policy applied in recent months in Ukraine, in which NATO avoided direct intervention in Ukraine, giving members the responsibility of sending weapons to Kyiv and repel the Russian offensive.
Last Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced the deployment of three MiG-31 fighter jets with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to Chkalovsk airfield, which will remain on “24-hour combat duty” as part of additional strategic deterrence measures. , according to a defense statement sent to Russian news agency TASS.
Russia claims the Kinzhal has a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and flies at 10 times the speed of sound, making intercepting difficult.
These state-of-the-art missiles have been used to hit various targets in Ukraine, a country that Russia invaded on February 24.
The announcement comes in the wake of criticism and threats from Moscow to countries that have been delivering weapons to Ukraine, including Poland and the Baltic nations.
According to Russia, weapons deliveries by the United States and its allies for the defense of Ukraine “prolong the conflict” of the country it invaded.
The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine has already caused more than 12 million people to flee their homes – more than six million internally displaced people and more than six million to neighboring countries – according to the latest UN data, which ranks this refugee crisis as the worst in Europe since the Second World War (1939-1945).
Also according to the United Nations, around 16 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
The Russian invasion – justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security – was condemned by the generality of the international community, which is responding by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing sanctions that affect virtually every sector, from banking to energy and sport.
The UN confirmed that 5,514 civilians died and 7,698 were wounded in the war, which today entered its 176th day, stressing that the real numbers will be much higher and can only be known when there is access to fenced areas or under intense fighting.
Source: With Agencies