WASHINGTON (AP) _ Russia is moving tactical nuclear weapons into one of its military bases in the Baltics for the first time since the end of the Cold War, The Washington Times reported.

The paper reported in Wednesday's editions that the transfer of battlefield nuclear weapons to the base in Kaliningrad followed threats several years ago to position such weapons outside of Russia's territory in response to expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Kaliningrad is a Baltic Sea port located between Poland and Lithuania on a sliver of Russian territory not connected to the main part of Russia. The port is the headquarters of the Russian Baltic Fleet.

Before the collapse of the Soviet union, Kaliningrad was the nation's westernmost port. Now it is separated from the Russian mainland by Lithuania and Belarus.

The report was denied by the Baltic Fleet, according to Tass. The Russian news agency quoted Anatoly Lobsky, assistant to the fleet commander, as saying the fleet is unconditionally fulfilling its obligations to keep the Baltic a nuclear-free zone.

The paper said movement of the battlefield nuclear weapons, believed to be for use on a new missile with a range of about 44 miles, was detected last June, but withheld from most U.S. policy-makers until recently.

The Times said Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon declined to comment on intelligence reports of the weapons movement, but said: ``If the Russians have placed tactical nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, it would violate their pledge that they were removing nuclear weapons from the Baltics, and that the Baltics should be nuclear-free.''

Russia and the United States announced in 1991 and 1992 nonbinding agreements to reduce arsenals of tactical nuclear weapons.