MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian defense ministry official on Tuesday rejected U.S. criticism of the decision to deploy ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, saying it was Moscow's prerogative, local news agencies reported.

The U.S. State Department said on Monday that Russia's deployment of its S-400 air missile defense system and ballistic Iskander missiles to the Russian enclave was "destabilizing to European security".

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)