Russian aircraft violated Latvian airspace

On November 7, Latvia's Ministry of Defense confirmed an airspace violation by Russia on November 6.

A statement issued Tuesday evening said:

"Yesterday, November 6, the radar of the Air Force of the National Armed Forces (NBS) recorded a violation of Latvian airspace on the border between Latvia and Russia by a Russian aircraft. After illegally crossing the border, the aircraft returned to Russian territory.

In response to the detected violation "necessary actions to prevent any threat to Latvia's security" were taken, the statement said, without going into detail. However, it did confirm that "Operational information was sent to NATO."

The type of aircraft involved was not specified.

NATO operates the Baltic Air Policing mission to ensure the security of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian airspace.

The Ministry of Defense informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the incident case and on November 7 an official of the Russian Embassy in Latvia was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be handed a protest note about the incident.

"The Ministry of Defense emphasizes that, in view of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Latvia is intensifying the protection of its land borders, airspace and territorial waters... Latvia will continue to ensure the protection of the external border of the EU and NATO. The NBS airspace surveillance systems are capable of immediately identifying airspace violations and informing NATO about it in order to jointly decide on the necessary actions," the statement from the Ministry of Defense said.

Similar behavior by Russia is nothing new in relation to the Baltic states, though airspace violations more frequently involve overflights of Estonian airspace in the Gulf of Finland. In June 2021, two Russian Su-24 bombers violated Lithuanian airspace over the Baltic Sea.

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