- Sputnik International, 1920
Enjoy in-depth, acute analysis of the most pressing local, regional and global trends at Sputnik!

Possible Deployment of US Missiles on Baltic Island May Bring Consequences for Region

© AFP 2023 / JONATHAN NACKSTRANDNATO's BALTOPS 22 Exercise in the Baltic Sea. File photo
NATO's BALTOPS 22 Exercise in the Baltic Sea. File photo - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.06.2024
Tensions around the Baltic Sea have escalated steadily of late following NATO's eastward expansion and some Western politicians claiming that the sea could become a "NATO lake" as Finland and Sweden join the alliance.
The permanent deployment of the US Typhon missile system with Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea is a “likely” scenario, Mikael Valtersson, a former officer of the Swedish Armed Forces/Air Defense, former defense politician and chief of staff with the Sweden Democrats, told Sputnik.

"The main consequence of this [possible] development" could be "a continued increase in military tension in the Baltic Sea," Valtersson said, warning that "it will also increase NATO's ability to close the Baltic Sea to Russian shipping."

This would, in turn, "probably mainly have an impact on Russian ability to deliver goods by sea" to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, according to Valtersson.

"Another impact is that Tomahawk missiles with a range of 1,500 km (932 miles) will be permanently based near Russian territory and have longer reach. This could of course be achieved with a permanent deployment of [the Arleigh Burke class of guided] missile destroyers (DDGs) but they would be very vulnerable to attacks from Russian anti-ship missiles," the expert said.

Vessels of the Russian Baltic Fleet are seen during tactical drills for landing troops from the sea on the unequipped coast of a simulated enemy assault, in the Kaliningrad Region - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.01.2024
‘NATO Lake’: Western Military Bloc Tries to Make It Look Like It 'Owns' Baltic Sea
He noted that to defend its shipping lanes against this new threat, Russia has to prepare preemptive strikes against the deployment sites, significantly increase advanced air defense assets in the area and build up large supply reserves in the Kaliningrad area.
He also commented on Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics’ recent remarks about NATO members’ plans to close the Baltic Sea to Russia "as an ultimate answer to alleged Russian hybrid warfare."

"This would, of course, be a breach of international law and could be seen as a de facto declaration of war. That kind of statements and ideas [….] are unfortunately new and dangerous steps towards large-scale open conflict in Europe," Valtersson concluded.

A female soldier of the P18 Gotland Regiment is pictured during a field exercise near Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland on May 17, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2024
Good Gotland! NATO Militarization Risks Putting Swedish Island in Nuclear Crosshairs
He spoke after Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Kasatonov earlier warned that the US deploying its Typhon missile system on the Bornholm island in the Baltic Sea would pose a threat to Russia’s Baltic and Northern Fleets.
Baltic Sea tensions show no signs of abating as they are driven by NATO's eastward expansion since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact. Poland fell under the alliance's aegis in 1999, followed by Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania's admission to NATO in 2004. Finland and Sweden joined the alliance in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала