Vejonis: Russia provokes us with military drills, but we are in control of the situation

Russia’s announced missile-firing tests is nothing more than demonstration of strength and a provocation against Latvia and NATO to see how we react, said Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis in an interview to LNT.

According to the politician, Russia wants this to be widely covered. Latvia has provided too much attention to this. The president is confident that Latvia’s reaction so far has been adequate and the country’s armed forces control the situation.

Vējonis says such military drills do not contribute to safety in the Baltic region and negatively affects ship traffic. There is also the possibility of a mistake. This is why such drills should not take place in the Baltic Sea at all. The president said that Latvia has already voiced this matter in NATO and OECD.

For the second time now Russia has announced plans to perform missile-firing tests in Latvia’s exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea, as confirmed by Defence Ministry’s Military Public Relations Department Director Kaspars Galkins.

Russia’s Main Air Traffic Control Centre has informed Latvia’s Civil Aviation Agency that Russian Navy have reserved the air space for three days in the middle of April. Military drills will be held on 17th to 19th April in the Baltic Sea, with missile-firing tests taking place on the last day. Actual firing will likely take place between 11:00 and 23:00 on 19 April.

Latvia’s Defence Ministry says there is no reason for concern over Russia’s planned missile-firing tests.

Russian Navy previously planned to perform missile-firing tests on 4th to 6th April. Not a single missile was launched during those military drills. Latvian authorities call those drills as part of Russia’s strategic communication and demonstration of strength to other countries of the region, experts said.

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