Russia is deploying short-range ballistic missiles to its western European enclave, it emerged yesterday as President Putin threatened “counter-measures” against Nato expansion.

A senior Russian MP said that Moscow would permanently station the nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, a region between the Nato states of Poland and Lithuania, in retaliation for a military build-up by the alliance in eastern Europe.

John Kirby, spokesman for the US State Department, said that the deployment of the missiles was “destabilising to European security”. He added: “We call on Russia to refrain from words or deeds that are inconsistent with the goal of promoting security and stability.”

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