Russian warship skirts Latvian waters

Latvia’s naval forces have spotted a Russian military vessel 6.5 miles from national territorial waters off the Baltic port of Liepaja, defense news portal reported Tuesday.

The Russian navy corvette (small warship) Syzran has not violated the maritime borderline, with Latvian naval forces ship KA-06 closely monitoring its activity in neutral international waters.

The corvettes Boyky and Soobrazitelny, also belonging to Russia’s naval fleet were noted in the Baltic Sea’s neutral waters near Latvia’s maritime border on June 21 and June 24, respectively. The Boyky was seen test-launching a Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopter from its deck.

In other news related to recently-observed Russian military activities, the Latvian Armed Forces on its Twitter feed reported that NATO Baltic Air Policing QRA MiG-29 jets scrambled to intercept two RU Armed Forces Su-24 aircraft over the Baltic Sea on 19 July.


This was the just the latest of a series of unexpected fly-overs for which Baltic-based NATO planes have scrambled in recent months.

On July 11 reported that NATO jets had scrambled 50 times over the previous eight-week period to check out possible Russian violations of airspace over the Baltic region. That day NATO patrols identified a radar surveillance plane Il-20 by the outer borders of Latvia’s territorial waters.

According to information agency LETA, the Russian planes usually operate with their automatic receivers off and without a flight plan, and refuse to respond to civilian air controllers.

In response to Russia's incursion in Ukraine, four Polish, four British and four Danish fighter jets are currently patrolling the Baltic region's air space, which is three times the number of units deployed prior to the conflict. NATO has invited its allies to contribute to this enhanced defensive Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission as part of its Integrated Air Defense System.

Canada and Portugal have also announced their readiness to help patrol the skies over the Baltic states from Siauliai base in Lithuania, while Germany has said it would join the patrols from Estonia’s airbase at Emari, starting in September.

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