On Wednesday, Russia already started testing missiles equipped with live ammunitions in the Baltic Sea. This action forced other countries to stop airspace temporarily as well as change sea traffic routes. The testing was based in the Kalinigrad exclave. It’s apparently inside the Latvia’s economic zone and extends to some areas of the Western Baltic Sea. One of the Nato members, Latvia, has responded by asking civilian air and sea traffic to change some travel lanes for safety reasons.
Latvian officials claimed that never in history Russian drills have got really close to its territory, but none should worry because Russia doesn’t violate international laws. “What concerns us is that it’s the first time when they’ve actually exercised so close to our borders,” said Janis Garisons, the State Secretary of the Latvian Defence Ministry. He thought that it was nothing but a show of force.
So far there haven’t been any worrying signs of provocative actions, but they still have a few days left to come. The Soviet Union was the one that occupied the Baltics when the Second World War was happening. It took a while for them to regain sovereignty. Russian reportedly sent notifications to several countries concerning the missile test, with Poland and Sweden being on the list. They were warned about the exercises that took place in the Baltic Sea.
As with others, Sweden has responded by shutting down a portion of its airspace for 3 days. Furthermore, Baltic leaders feel as if Trump is reluctant to criticize Russia for negative things Putin has done in the past, including the poisoning of Skripal which occurred recently. They still applaud Trump for the great military spending increases. Trump has stated that he was happy with the fact that the Baltic countries were eager to meet the plan of spending at least 2% of the GDP on security and defense. He was known for slamming those that didn’t want to contribute to the change.