2014-12-13 07:43:00

Poland, Baltic states note 'unprecedented' Russian military activity

(Vatican Radio) Three Baltic states and Poland are concerned about what they call "unprecedented Russian military activity" in their region. 

Listen to the report by Stefan Bos:

Estonian Defence Minister Sven Mikser said Friday his Baltic nation has seen "large-scale movements in the air" including Russian long-range strategic bombers, which he called "not usual visitors" in the region. 

He said the moves were "unnecessarily provocative". Among the latest incidents at least one Russian aircraft allegedly violated Estonia's airspace last weekend.  

Mikser made the statement following two days of talks in Latvia with his Polish and Baltic counterparts. 


Poland's Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on Thursday that “for a few days now” there had been “unprecedented Russian activity from its Baltic fleet to flights over the Baltic Sea”.

The Baltic states echoed these sentiments Friday, but said they refused to be intimidated. 

However, the NATO military alliance has intercepted Russian aircraft on numerous occasions. 

These military confrontations have been linked to the East-West standoff over Russia's intervention in Ukraine. 

After it annexed the Crimean Peninsula, Russia has been accused by Ukraine and the West of providing military support to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, charges Moscow denies. 


Yet, despite the stand-off, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Friday he was thankful that no casualties were reported over a 24-hour period—the first time since the conflict erupted months ago. 

"This is the first night when I don’t have neither lost nor wounded Ukrainian soldiers, when we don’t have any lost or wounded civilians," he said. 

"This is only 24 hours everything is so fragile,” he said. “But I pray that we continue with this process.” 

Poroshenko made the comments while wrapping up a two-day visit to Australia. 


Several countries lost citizens when a Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, killing all 298 people on board, including 38 Australians. 

Several Western officials and Kiev have blamed Russia-backed rebels, but Moscow accuses Ukraine's government. Wreckage has arrived in the Netherlands, which is leading an international investigation. The transport of wreckage had to wait until tensions eased around the crash site. 

Pro-Russian separatists claim to have started withdrawing heavy weapons from the front line in the Donetsk region. 

Their actions are part of internationally backed efforts to ease tensions in an eight-month conflict that has claimed more than 4,000 lives.   



All the contents on this site are copyrighted ©.