Baltic states warn of potential air disaster amid Russian GPS jamming

NATO training mission in the Baltic Sea. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

NATO training mission in the Baltic Sea. Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Russian GPS interference over the Baltic Sea could cause an air disaster, Baltic ministers told the Financial Times on Sunday.

Separate warnings came from the foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the weekend about the dangers posed by GPS jamming that caused two Finnair flights to turn around in midair last week.

The flights departing from Helsinki on Thursday and Friday were forced to return to the Finnish capital after signal disruption prevented the pilots being able to safely navigate the planes to their destination in the Estonian city of Tartu.

Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s foreign minister, told the FT that “things in the Baltic region near Russian borders are now getting too dangerous to ignore”.

Estonia’s foreign minister Margus Tsahkna described the interference as “a hybrid attack” and “part of Russia’s hostile activities”.

GPS jamming has affected tens of thousands of civilian flights in recent months and impeded signals used by boats in the Baltic Sea. Russia has not acknowledged causing the interference but regional experts say it is likely that the Kremlin is jamming signals both from its mainland and the exclave of Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania, the FT wrote.

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