Russian Arctic National Park to set up reserve area on Novaya ZemlyaSociety & Culture August 21, 9:36
Iranian president calls defending nuclear deal top priorityWorld August 21, 8:20
US guided-missile destroyer collides with merchant vessel in SingaporeMilitary & Defense August 21, 8:02
Russian military aviation stamps out terrorists en-route to Syria’s Deir ez-ZorMilitary & Defense August 21, 6:47
Putin visits international jazz festival in Crimea’s KoktebelSociety & Culture August 21, 2:31
Putin says he cares little about his style but tries to look elegantSociety & Culture August 20, 23:41
Militants launch shell on exhibition complex near Damascus — mediaWorld August 20, 15:27
Cardinal Parolin: Dialogue of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches to help them feel unitySociety & Culture August 20, 8:27
Polina Dibrova, mother of three, wins Mrs. Russia 2017 beauty pageantSociety & Culture August 20, 4:41
TALLINN, February 9 (Itar-Tass) — The NATO Council’s decision to make air patrolling in the three Baltic countries permanent will allow Estonia to focus on improving its defence capability, Defence Minister Mart Laar said.
He believes that this decision can hardly be overestimated. “For the people living in Estonia, NATO air police are a clear sign of the alliance’s presence,” Laar said.
Now Estonia will not have to create from scratch a sophisticated and expensive system of fighter planes. “Instead, the country will be able to concentrate on further development of its defence capability,” the minister said.
NATO partners patrol the airspace of the three Baltic countries from the Lithuanian air base Zokniai. Brussels regards it as an example of “smart defence” when NATO member states do the job instead of making large investments in the creation of the air forces in the Baltic countries.
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia do not have necessary aircraft for patrolling their airspace. This has been done by their NATO partners since 2004. They will continue to do so at least until 2014. The Baltic countries request that such patrolling be made permanent.
Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn have been sharing the accommodation costs of NATO air personnel in Lithuania since 2009, and transportation expenses for both the personnel and equipment since 2010. One month of air patrolling costs 20 million euro.