MOSCOW – From September 23 to 26, Russian military personnel will conduct an inspection of an area of Latvia during the Silver Arrow 2019 exercises of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
According to the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper, Russian inspectors will visit training areas, receive instructions on military units stationed in the area and military activities, including ground troop exercises from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Spain, Italy and Canada.
The exercises will take place in Latvia from September 23 to October 6. Russia will inspect in the neighboring country a designated area of approximately 16,000 square kilometers. Between the 24th and 27th, Russian technicians will conduct a similar inspection on the territory of Denmark.
The Open Skies Treaty was signed in 1992 by the countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe ( OSCE ). It has become one of the confidence-building measures in Europe after the Cold War.
The agreement entered into force ten years later, in 2002. According to the treaty, signatories can conduct reconnaissance flights over the territories of other member countries and gather information about their troops.
Currently 34 countries are party to the treaty, including: most NATO members, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and the neutral countries Finland and Sweden.
The NATO Air Force Ramstein Alloy 19-2 exercises occurred in June in the Baltic countries, reported the press office of the Latvian Ministry of Defense.
The purpose of the exercises were to test airspace control and monitoring by NATO forces, as well as to control and test the interaction between regional and Atlantic Alliance air forces. The exercises are performed annually.
“NATO Air Force Ramstein Alloy 19-2 exercises began in the skies over the Baltic countries on Tuesday, with the participation of more than 20 aircraft,” it was reported.
During the flights, search and rescue procedures, simulation of aircraft communication signal loss and refueling of air fighters will be practiced.
Hungarian Air Force JAS-39 fighter jets, Spanish Air Force F / A-18 and Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon are taking part in the exercises.
What’s more, there are fighters from Poland, Finland, Germany, Sweden and Norway, as well as the Dutch KDC-10 refueling aircraft. Additional control and management will be performed by the E-3A aircraft with the AWACS early warning and control system.