Latvia to look into oli­garchs con­ver­sa­tions

The Baltic Times - - FRONT PAGE - LETA/TBT Staff

The United States on Mon­day, July 10, de­ployed a long-range air de­fense sys­tem Pa­triot, which is ca­pa­ble of down­ing mis­siles, in Lithua­nia for air de­fense drills to be held in the coun­try this month, the Lithua­nian De­fense Min­istry said.

This is the first time that such a mis­sile sys­tem has been brought to Lithua­nia.

The min­istry said in a press re­lease that the Pa­triot sys­tem had been de­ployed for the To­bruq Legacy 2017 air de­fense ex­er­cise to be held in the county of Si­au­liai be­tween July 11 and 22.

The ex­er­cise in Lithua­nia will in­volve around 500 troops and some 30 air de­fense sys­tems from Lithua­nia and an­other four NATO mem­ber states.

The De­fense Min­istry said that the de­ploy­ment of the Pa­triot sys­tem "demon­strates strong US com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing se­cu­rity in Lithua­nia and a high level of US pre­pared­ness to quickly de­ploy strate­gic ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the re­gion".

The Us-or­ga­nized To­bruq Legacy 2017 drills will also take place in the Czech Repub­lic and Ro­ma­nia. The Lithua­nian Air Force will take part in the an­nual ex­er­cise for the third time.

The Baltic coun­tries' air de­fense is one of the re­gion's weak­est spots in terms of de­fense. Lithua­nia, Latvia and Es­to­nia cur­rently only have short-range air de­fense sys­tems.

Lithua­nia this year ex­pects to reach a fi­nal agree­ment with Nor­way on the pur­chase of NASAMS medium-range sys­tems.

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