MEP be­lieves NATO should de­ploy pa­triot air de­fense sys­tems in the Baltic States

The Baltic Times - - BALTIC NEWS - BNS/TBT Staff

Lat­vian MEP and for­mer De­fense and For­eign Min­is­ter Atis Pabriks (Unity) be­lieves NATO should place Pa­triot air de­fense sys­tems in the Baltic States to de­fend the air space. Com­par­ing the present NATO troops de­ployed in the Baltic re­gion with the Rus­sian troops placed by the Baltic border, the only thing the Baltics can do is to de­lay the po­ten­tial oc­cu­pa­tion sce­nario, Pabriks said.

“It is clear that the three NATO bat­tal­ions de­ployed in the three Baltic States and the Baltic armies may not com­bat the Rus­sian army. The present NATO forces work well as the de­ter­rence, but there is still asym­me­try of troops,” the min­is­ter said.

He un­der­scored that Rus­sia has de­ployed its Iskan­der mis­siles against the Baltic States. “I think that the Pa­triot would be the right weapon to de­fend the Baltic air space,” said Pabriks.

Pabriks also be­lieves that the Rus­sian and Be­larus mil­i­tary ex­er­cise Za­pad this fall will demon­strate their force and will serve as a prac­ti­cal ex­er­cise for hy­po­thet­i­cal cri­sis sce­nar­ios.

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