Estonia Says Russian Jets 'Incredibly Reckless' In Baltics' Airspace
May 04, 2016
Russian military planes regularly violate Estonian airspace in what the country's defense minister described on May 3 as "incredibly reckless" behavior.
"They violate our airspace on a fairly regular basis. They fly across the Baltic Sea with the transponders switched off," Hannes Hanso said on a visit to Paris.
While military radar can detect a plane even when its transponders are switched off, radar designed for civilian aircraft cannot, he said.
"It is incredibly reckless and it is an accident waiting to happen," Hanso said. "Imagine a collision between a Russian plane and a civilian plane. Normal countries don't do this sort of thing. So it is just to provoke and to challenge us. It is unacceptable."
Baltic countries want a NATO summit in Warsaw in July to send a clear message to Russia, the minister said.
"We want to make sure that the regime in Moscow gets a very clear message that this sort of behavior is not acceptable and territories of alliance will be defended no matter what. So it is about deterrence."
U.S. military commanders also complained this week about Russian jets doing dangerous maneuvers in the Baltic region.
Based on reporting by AFP, Stirile Pro TV, and Agerpres
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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