Coast guard stays on Russian vessel vigil

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Coast guard patrols have monitored two ships of the Russian navy near Latvian waters in the past two days, as the National Armed Forces (NBS) have reported on their Twitter account as the month of April closed by Thursday afternoon.

The latest sighting was a little over 9 kilometers from the sea border inside Latvia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), involving another of the specialized 'de-gausser' support vessels of the Bereza-type, meant to thwart radar detection of submarines and other ships with its magnetizing broadcast gear. The same type of ship was spotted also just a week ago, on April 23.

And on Wednesday the NBS also tweeted of patrols having watched a corvette warship 13 kilometers away from the maritime territorial line in the EEZ. The Parchim-class craft is designed almost exclusively to hunt for near-coastal submarines and subsequently destroy them.

This should bring the total tally of encounters with Russian military units popping up unannounced by the waters and skies of Latvia's Baltic borders to top 40 so far this year.

Also ending today are the Baltic states' joint minesweeping training operations Batron inside Lithuania's territorial waters and EEZ. The ships Virsaitis and Rūsiņš among the Latvian navy vessels taking part in the drills meant to test the minesweepers' readiness as part of NATO's Rapid Reaction Forces.

In a separate move, Lithuania's foreign minister announced that he had summoned the Russian ambassador in Vilnius over the actions of Russian vessels in Lithuania's exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea.


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