RIGA, April 13 (LETA) – The possible reason for Russia’s repeated announcement on its planned missile tests over Latvia’s exclusive economic zone might be the technical failure of the previously announced tests, Latvia’s former chief of defense Raimonds Graube told LETA.In his opinion, such exercise is a provocation and an element of information war because "Russia has many firing grounds for such tests".Graube said that, in his opinion, the Latvian army does not have to be on high alert because such announced exercises do not pose real threat, but it is important that exercise comes along with additional tasks. "They [Russia] are observing us with different methods, testing our response, technologies. We are also observing them," he said.As reported, Russia again plans to perform missile tests over Latvia's exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea, said Latvian Defense Ministry spokesman, Kaspars Galkins.Russia has notified the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency that Russian Naval Force plans to perform missile tests over Latvia’s exclusive economic zone on April 19.According to Galkins, Russia has called on the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency to close the air in a 20-kilometer altitude and 40 kilometers from Latvia's seacoast.The Latvian Defense Ministry still believes that such tests in direct vicinity of Latvia’s territorial waters and ungrounded and provocative, and voiced concerns about Russia’s ability to ensure security during the tests.It was also reported, on April 12 Russian war helicopter Ka-29 crashed in the Baltic Sea near Kaliningrad during a test flight. Both its crew members died in the crash, the Russian Navy said.The Latvian National Armed Forces said they will closely follow the exercise and patrol on the country’s border.Russia previously notified the Latvian authorities that the Russian Navy will be performing missile tests over Latvia's exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea from April 4 to 6. There were no missiles fired during the exercise.The Latvian Defense Ministry said previously that, although international agreements do not prohibit Russia from holding such exercises in the given territory, such activities are provocative and can be regarded as a demonstration of force. Moreover, such missile tests can threaten traffic of civilian ships and aircraft in the area.
Published: 13.04.2018 20:29