Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia to discuss the creation of a regional system of air defence. About it the Financial Times said the head of Ministry of defense of Lithuania Juozas Olekas.
“We are now discussing with the authorities of Estonia, Latvia and Poland, how we can create something like a regional air defense system,” said Olekas. According to him, the parties hope that this system will be put into operation within two to three years. Now a Quartet of countries “assesses supply options,” said the Minister.
Commander of the Estonian defense Forces, Lieutenant General Riho Terras last month told the FT that the regional forces necessary patriot missile batteries or similar system to prevent any provocations from the Russian side.
“We are actively discussing with the главнокомандующиb United armed forces in Europe, how to create a system of air defense over the Baltic States. It is not just about MANPADS, but also the mission which will provide air defense,” said Lieutenant-General Vytautas Zukas, head of the Lithuanian Armed forces. According to him, “now this is a big problem.”
According to the FT, full-fledged air defense mission will require the deployment of NATO aircraft in the region. “Now we need to calculate how much we need aircraft, MANPADS and what air defense system. You need to think about the components of aerial and ground-based increase in the number of fighters, as well as new rules of engagement, command and control,” said Jukes.
Such measures are unlikely to be quickly agreed by the allies, the FT notes. Jukes expressed the opinion that this will require sanctions by the North Atlantic Council, which is the main organ of political decision-making of the Alliance.
This week Deputy assistant Secretary of defense Michael carpenter confirmed the information of the American analysts, according to which Russia will be able to capture Riga or Tallinn for 36-60 hours.
The issue of strengthening of Russian troops will be one of the things that NATO will be discussed at the July summit in Warsaw. It is expected that the Alliance will announce the location of four new battalions in Poland and the Baltic States. On plans of the Alliance became known in late April.
In mid-may, high-ranking NATO generals told the FT that the Alliance will be difficult to deploy your rapid reaction force in Eastern Europe in case of conflict with Russia. NATO does not exclude that the group could be defeated before will be in a state of alert.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly criticized NATO military activity in Eastern Europe. Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said about the “lack of trust” between the parties. In Moscow also stressed that Russia does not pose a danger to other countries but will defend its interests in the event of a threat to its national security.