Zapad 2013. Russian military training
RIGA - The Latvian government will have a closed meeting on Sept. 24, during which it will listen to an analysis of military invasion possibilities against the country, reports LETA. The analysis of possible military threats to Latvia’s security was prepared by the Defense Ministry, and will be presented to the government by Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.
The government meeting will be held at a time when Russian and Belarusian soldiers are carrying out large-scale military maneuvers near Baltic borders.
When most people in the Baltics just want to enjoy the last days of summer, to catch a movie, go to the opera, watch a ball game on TV or just meet with friends over a few beers, it’s unbelievable that in the early 21st century, citizens have to worry about aggressive military actions and threats from an apparently hostile neighbor. Most Russians would probably feel the same way. The Russian government seems stuck in a medieval mindset about its place in the world today.
Estonian Riigikogu foreign affairs committee chairman Marko Mihkelson said that no major changes have taken place in relations between Estonia and Russia recently, but Russia’s big military exercises are being observed very carefully, reports Delfi.
“Estonia and its allies naturally observe very carefully what is happening at the major exercise Zapad 2013 and will certainly draw the necessary conclusions,” Mihkelson said, commenting on reports of eight Russian military planes flying in international airspace very close to Estonia last week.
Mihkelson added that one possible cause of tensions with Russia could be the Vilnius summit that takes place at the end of November, where the EU-Ukrainian association agreement is likely to be signed.
Eesti Paevaleht wrote at the weekend that on Sept. 16, eight Russian planes, including some fighter planes, flew by Estonia in international air space to Kaliningrad. In response to the powerful Russian presence, Finnish fighter planes, Swedish plans and NATO plans residing in Lithuania took off to inspect the encroachment.