Lithuanian president: Jets near Baltic air-space are sign of Russian stupidity, not power

Dalia Grybauskaitė and Toomas Hendrik Ilves
LRPK / Robertas Dačkus

“Probably Russians would like us to think that they are demonstrating power. Probably they would like us to think that they are strong and dangerous. And, of course, they are looking for some kind of provocations, because some planes are flying without response or giving identifications or even with some technologies where they are not seen on the radar. And this means that it is very dangerous for collisions and problems can occur in the air,” Grybauskaitė said at a joint news conference with her Baltic and Polish counterparts in Estonia on Tuesday.

“It’s not demonstration of power, let them not enjoy it – it’s demonstration of stupidity, irresponsible behavior – that’s what it is,” stated the Lithuanian president.

Estonia’s President Toomas Hendrik Ilves did not rule out the possibility that the Russian actions could lead to a disaster similar to the crash of the Malaysian passenger jet in eastern Ukraine.

“This is a threat to civilian aviation. I’m actually counting on the European Union to take a far stronger stance on this issue (…). When planes are flying without transponders in the time of peace, we can have huge catastrophes. We already know what happened to MH17. We don’t want planes falling down in Europe, because one country does not follow its international obligations,” Ilves said.

During the meeting in Tallinn on Tuesday, the presidents of Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Grybauskaitė, Ilves, Andris Berzins and Bronislaw Komorowski, reviewed the implementation of decisions adopted at the NATO Summit in Wales as well as energy, information and cyber security issues.

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