The Estonian military recently claimed that a Russian aircraft violated the Estonian airspace over the Baltic Sea. This is reportedly the fourth time Moscow made such violation this year.
Furthermore, the military said in a statement that on September 6, a Russian Antonov An-72 transport plane was spotted flying over the Estonian airspace without permission. The aircraft reportedly buzzed over the region near the Baltic Sea’s Vaindloo Island for around 90 seconds.
Russia Conducts Illegal Military Activity in Estonia
According to a report from RFERL, the Russian plane did not respond to attempts of contact from the Estonian air-traffic controllers. The aircraft also flew 2.2 kilometers inside Estonian airspace. However, Russia denied the violation.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov clarified to journalists that nothing of that sort happened, and that no Russian planes “violated Estonia’s airspace in the vicinity of Vaindloo Island.”
While the tension between Russia and other nations in the Baltic region continues to rise, German and Latvian troops have started preparing for a joint exercise in Latvia. The region for the drills is near the Russian border. According to Reuters, the drills and testing of German’s air defenses are part of the NATO’s broader initiative to beef up force in case Russian aggression escalates.
Germans Test Air Missiles
According to the report, Germany deployed around 80 troops and 400 tonnes of equipment as well as deployable mobile control center for the said joint coordination. The drills are expected to last until October. Likewise, there are five German Eurofighter jets carrying out air patrols over the Baltic region from Amari, Estonia.
“Our biggest concern is the unpredictability of Russia, which has proven in Georgia and Crimea and eastern Ukraine that it is ready, for whatever reason, to take military action,” explained Lieutenant General Raimonds Graube, commander of Latvian armed forces, as quoted by Reuters.
Russia has been busy showing its might in the region in response to NATO’s activation of a U.S.-built missile shield in Poland. This has prompted the Kremlin to declare its intention to deploy nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad.
“Of course that worries us, and that’s why it’s good that the Germans are here for deterrence and to send a signal that NATO is strong and unified,” added Graube.