facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

NATO and U.S. boost air support in Baltic region

The Baltic states have become increasingly nervous about Russian aggression, after the country annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and amassed troops along Ukraine's eastern border.
By Aileen Graef   |   April 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM   |   Comments

April 2 (UPI) -- NATO and the United States are increasing air support in the Baltic region to help calm nerves among the states and send a clear message to Russia.

The Baltic states are in high alert and have increased tensions over Russian aggression in the region. NATO forces have sent air support to the region to supplement the small air force. The U.S. has sent 10 F-15s alone, and there are offers for more.

"I can't say cold war because it is a very hot war," said Jouzas Olekas, Lithuania's Defense Minister. "The Russians occupied a part of Ukraine and they concentrated their forces and I think we should be ready to defend our states if this aggression should continue."

The fighter jets are there not only for defense but also to send a clear message that Russia should not push into the region. NATO air support is on constant alert and taking turns to patrol the skies. At NATO's command centers, they are monitoring Russian air activity and noticing increased traffic.

"We've seen a slow increase over the years consistent with Russian ambition," said Air Operations Centre director Stephen Richards. "Their airforce has received more money. We know that. Everybody knows that and so we see more activity. I would say it's not worrying but we need to be sure that we are aware of it."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia has no plans to go further than the annexation of Crimea, but that they will defend ethnic Russians in any country if they feel their safety or freedom is in danger.


[BBC]

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
Contact the Author
© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Jessica Arrendale dies shielding daughter from boyfriend with gun Jessica Arrendale dies shielding daughter from boyfriend with gun
2
Michael Brown's memorial on fire under mysterious circumstances Michael Brown's memorial on fire under mysterious circumstances
3
Reeva Steenkamp's mother: Pistorius should 'pay' Reeva Steenkamp's mother: Pistorius should 'pay'
4
Caitlyn Kovacs' death likely 'alcohol-related,' prosecutor says Caitlyn Kovacs' death likely 'alcohol-related,' prosecutor says
5
Gazprom: Hungary ready for South Stream Gazprom: Hungary ready for South Stream
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback