Flurry of Russian warships and planes spotted

The National Armed Forces (NBS) have tweeted several reports of a burst in Russian warship and aircraft activity near Latvian airspace and waters Friday.

First, the Baltic Air Patrol (BAP) mission’s Eurofighter Typhoon plane identified two supersonic Tu-22M long-range strategic bombers from the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces.

In a separate tweet, the NBS then clarified that an additional two SU-27 fighter jets were accompanying the two TU-22Ms.

Additionally, two subsequent tweets reported the NBS spotting a Kilo-class submarine ‘470’ and the anti-submarine vessel Zelenodolsk, as well as an SS-750 submarine support vessel and hydrographic survey ship GS-403, respectively.

June 12 was the last time such intense activity was observed, when altogether 16 Russian aircraft were spotted over neutral waters in the Baltic Sea.

Friday morning the Defense ministry’s state secretary Jānis Sārts told the conference ‘National and International Security after the Occupation of Crimea’ that Russia was effectively taking advantage of western nations’ wishes to resolve the conflict peacefully.

“The first and foremost thing is to understand what is Russia, what she is prepared to do, what military steps she is prepared to make. From there it follows, firstly, that Europe concentrates more on its own security,” said Sārts.

“From there it follows that the US remains deeply and tightly committed to Europe. From there it follows that NATO and its member states deploy additional forces in the Baltic states and Poland. I believe and I know this is what they will be deciding upon at the NATO Summit in Wales next week,” he predicted.

Sārts added that Russia’s policy so far near the borders of the Baltics, Poland and Finland calls for explanations from the Kremlin.

“In response to part of the rhetoric used by Russia, such actions will elicit a Russian response. What about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, then? What about Russia’s giant military exercises by the Baltic region, wherein scenarios are played out that are aggressive towards the Baltics, towards Finland, towards Poland? What about the opening of new military bases right here by ours and Estonia’s borders? Does Russia expect there to be no response? Therefore we see again how in this information war this gets turned around backwards, and they try to say that NATO is now doing something and that a response is forthcoming. No, this is NATO’s response to developments in Russia over the past two years, and largely to what is happening in Ukraine,” the ministry spokesperson said.

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