Russian missile show tested Latvia's reaction, says Defense Minister

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The missile tests over Latvia’s exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea, which were announced by Russia but never took place, may have been part of strategic communication, Defense Minister Raimonds Bergmanis told LTV April 9.

He said that Russia had not specified what exactly it wanted to test in this exercise, and it is possible the Russians had seen equipment malfunctions. 

But it may also be the case, he said, that Russia had intentionally forgone actually carrying out the tests, i.e. that the announcement was part of communication strategy, and Moscow is now evaluating Latvia's reaction. 

"It would be interesting to me to know whether it had a financial effect on maritime navigation and airline companies, if there had been any economic effect," he said. 

Earlier the Latvian National Armed Forces observed movement of Russian naval ships in Latvia's exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea where Russia said it would be conducting missile tests but no missiles were fired.

Civil aviation was diverted and Latvia's military was keeping an eye on the situation as a three-day window began April 4 during which Russia planned to fire missiles over parts of the Baltic Sea, including over Latvia's exclusive economic zone.

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