Baltic States push for air defense system implementation

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On a visit to the United States (US), the chairs of the Foreign Affairs Commissions of the Baltic parliaments have called on the US to look for ways to deploy anti-air defense systems in the Baltic region as soon as possible, head of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Commission Rihards Kols (National Alliance) told Latvian Television on March 18.

He said that the Baltic States, in a conversation about the consequences of Russian aggression, focused US attention not only on the NATO East flank, but directly on the Baltic States, whose defense plan was recently approved and “activated” following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“But we see processes taking place in the neighboring country, Belarus. It is de facto included in the Russian Federation, including in the military field. It, therefore, presents new challenges in the architecture of security protection and prompts reviewing the existing response and protection plans. This is what we are calling for - do not hesitate in parallel with the assistance provided to Ukraine and to strengthen the East flank, including the Baltic States,” said Kols.

According to him, the parliamentarians of the Baltic States have particularly focused on the critical importance of protecting airspace and the necessary systems.

“We, unfortunately, do not have anti-aircraft defense systems in the Baltic States at all. This is what we urged the US [..] to look for ways we can deploy air protection systems in the Baltic region immediately,” said Kols.

Kols said that the presence of US armed forces was increased in the Baltic region, but mostly because of military training.

“We could therefore call for NATO to schedule anti-aircraft defense training [in the Baltic States] and to deploy mobile air defense systems [in the Baltic region]. And it doesn't take months, it's a matter of days, weeks,” the head of the Saeima Foreign Affairs Commission said.

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