Baltic countries to sign declaration on expansion of airspace for NATO activities

  • 2023-07-10
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Baltic countries will sign a declaration on the expansion of airspace for NATO activities, the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

The declaration will state that NATO allies are given unrestricted access to the combined Baltic airspace block for NATO deterrence, enhanced vigilance and large-scale training activities.

The declaration will be signed by the Defense Ministers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Arvydas Anusauskas, Inara Murniece and Hanno Pevkur, at the NATO Summit in Vilnius on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.

According to the statement, NATO agrees to strengthen its air posture and the rotational model of air defense by deploying ground-based air defense and aviation capabilities on a rotational basis in the countries involved, thereby increasing the readiness, responsiveness and agility of the Alliance's air and missile defense forces.

“Through a joint declaration, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will invite NATO allies to implement the rotational model of air defense by contributing to it with their own capabilities,” the ministry said.

At the same time, the Baltic countries will express their common intention to further improve airspace solutions as needed, to increase the availability of airspace for NATO air operations, to ensure the highest standards of air safety and to improve civil-military cooperation between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

As the Baltic countries push for NATO to beef up air defense capabilities in the region and upgrade the Alliance's Baltic air policing mission, launched 20 years ago, to an air defense mission, the Alliance's defense ministers agreed on a rotational air defense model in mid-June.