Lithuanian defence minister says Russia already has nuclear weapons

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Lithuanian defence minister says Russia already has nuclear weapons

Russia already has nuclear weapons in the Baltic Sea, Lithuanian Defence Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said on Thursday.

One of the closest allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin warned NATO on Thursday that if Sweden and Finland joined the US military alliance, Russia would have to bolster its defences in the region, including by deploying nuclear weapons.

Anusauskas told Lithuania's BNS wire that nuclear weapons have been deployed in Russia's Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea since before the current crisis.

The Russian threats look quite strange, when we know that, even with the present security situation, they keep the weapon 100 km from Lithuania's border, the minister was quoted by the wire on Thursday.

Nuclear weapons have always been kept in Kaliningrad, and the countries in the region are aware of this They use it as a threat, he said.

Russia's Kaliningrad exclave is situated on the shore of the Baltic Sea, between NATO members Lithuania and Poland.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte said on Thursday that Russia's threat to increase military, including nuclear, in the Baltic region was nothing new.