MOSCOW, August 9. /TASS/. NATO’ s activity in the Baltic region has turned it into a zone where dangerous incidents are possible, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday in comments on the incident in which a Spanish fighter jet accidentally fired an air-to-air missile in Estonian airspace.
"These developments were to be expected, as at the initiative of the North Atlantic Alliance the once calm from the military point of view Baltic region is turning into a zone of intensive combat training activity, fraught with dangerous incidents," the diplomat said.
"What happened once again clearly demonstrates that the activity of NATO, including in the Baltic States, poses additional security risks instead of strengthening secrity," Zakharova added.
On Tuesday, a Spanish Eurofighter on NATO Baltic Air Policing duty accidentally fired an air-to-air missile in Estonian airspace. No damage was reported.
According to the Estonian Defense Forces, the incident with the accidental launch of an AMRAAM-type air-to-air missile occurred at 3:44 p.m. Moscow time on August 7 in a practice area over the community of Pangodi.
As the Estonian Defense Forces said, the missile’s self-destruct mode was activated to destroy it while it was still in the air. However, despite this, the missile could have still fallen on the ground 40 km north of Tartu.
According to Estonian Air Force Commander Riivo Valge, the missile’s flight radius is 100 km. Upon its deviation towards the eastern border, the missile could have theoretically fallen "on the other side of Lake Chudskoye on the territory of the Russian Federation," he said.
The missile is 3.7 meters long and has a diameter of 18 cm. It is armed with a warhead.
The incident is being probed by the Estonian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force and NATO experts. Three light Robinson helicopters of the Estonian Air Force are combing the area to find the missile.