22/10/2014 8:45
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Military & Intelligence

Latvia Sounds Alarm Over Russian Warplane Flights

Su-24 fighter. (Archive)
21:21 18/09/2013
Tags: Su-24, Su-34, Defense Ministry, NATO, Russian Air Force, Artis Pabriks, Latvia, Riga

RIGA, September 18 (RIA Novosti) – Latvia’s defense minister on Wednesday slammed frequent flights by Russian warplanes near the country’s airspace.

Flights by Russian Air Force aircraft are not only a show of force but also part of a military training program, Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said in an interview broadcast on Latvian TV Wednesday.

“We cannot treat this lightly,” he said. “Obviously, they are not flying there just for the fun of it – because they have nothing better to do.”

On Monday NATO fighters that police Baltic airspace identified eight Russian warplanes flying close to the border of Latvia’s territorial waters, one Il-70 transport aircraft, two Su-24 fighter jets and five Su-34 fighters, the Latvian National Armed Forces press service said.

Last Friday, NATO jets spotted a Russian Il-20 aircraft near the Latvian border.

Despite the widespread media coverage of these concerns there has been no official response from the Russian Defense Ministry.

Since March 2004, when the Baltic States joined NATO, a round-the-clock mission to police Baltic airspace has been conducted on a three to four-month rotation basis from Lithuania's First Air Base in Zokniai, near the northern city of Šiauliai. Deployments usually comprise four fighter planes and between 50 and 100 support personnel.


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RIA NovostiSu-24 fighter. (Archive)Latvia Sounds Alarm Over Russian Warplane Flights

21:21 18/09/2013 Latvia’s defense minister on Wednesday slammed frequent flights by Russian warplanes near the country’s airspace.>>

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  • gunshipdemocracybetter question is what NATO planes were doing in vicinity of Russian border?
    21:38, 18/09/2013
    last 30 years NATO, unlike Russia, proved to be an aggressor and happy to use force against many counties and civilians all over the world.

    Let me repeat what NATO war planes were doing in Latvia? Russian were flying in RUSSIA.
  • GarryBWhat a joke!
    12:05, 19/09/2013
    The Latvians are angry at the Russians because Russian aircraft are flying NEAR their airspace...

    Seems to me the Latvians need to grow a pair and harden up...

    It is called international airspace FOR A REASON.
  • moistDid i hear anything?...
    14:06, 19/09/2013
    ...maybe it was a squeak from somebody behind the war-criminal and NATO fuhrer Anders Foggy RatMussen. Ok, nothing then...
  • arsanlupinHere we have the Three Stooges.
    03:33, 20/09/2013
    1. NATO warplanes are in Latvia because Latvia is a NATO member - and a very enthusiastic one. Why? Their annoyance at being occupied against their will for 45 years by - guess who? The same reason that EVERY former member of the Warsaw Pact joined NATO as fast as they could. NATO is only aggressive against bullies – and Russia is beginning to act like one. Russia hasn’t for 30 years because it CAN’T – the mighty Russia military is a paper tiger, rotting away from the inside, and for a lot more than 30 years.

    2. No, actually there is NO 'international airspace' over land - ALL land masses save Antarctica have nothing but territorial airspace over them. The NATO aircraft scrambled in response to the Russian aircraft near-incursions, just as Russia would if the same threat appeared – at least when it can. Russia needs to worry about the Latvians “hardening up” to the point that one of the Russian provocateurs gets an AIM-9X Block III up his ass.

    3. No, you can’t hear anything at all because of the mold growing in your moist ears – as well as in the swamp pit in between them.
    • GarryB(no title)
      10:59, 20/09/2013
      Number one... Yeah Latvia joined the German nazis rather rapidly too, they seem at their strongest when standing under the skirt of a much larger power.
      Russia has never occupied Latvia, that was the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin... you know... the guy from Georgia?
      The are enormous fences and fierce dogs on the US Mexico border but rather less real security on the Canada US border. Less to do with politics and more to do with the relative economic wealth.
      Most of the Warsaw Pact was cannon fodder... buffer states between Stalins Soviet Union and what was left of Germany. Do you really think NATO sees them as something different from a way to move their toy soldiers closer to Moscow or cannon fodder for Afghanistan?

      NATO has violated its own charter as a defensive European organisation and is now becoming the militant arm of the west... a sort of armed UN world police force, but only acting when it suits western interests so really more of a lynch mob.

      Been more than a few changes within the Russian military and there are a few more to come, if latvia wants to open fire on Russian airspace Russia can simply close its borders and impose economic sanctions the way the west does all the time as an aggressive weapon of undemocratic force applied to foreign powers it doesn't like.

      You are quite right about no international land space, so to correct what I said the Latvians are complaining that the Russians are flying in RUSSIAN air space that happens to be near Latvia.

      Grow up Latvia. Latvia should be thanking Russia for the practise.

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