Estonia and Lithuania Disagree on Rotating NATO Air Policing Mission

NATO allies have policed the airspace over the Baltic States since 2004

From Lithuanian Tribune:  Estonian Minister of Defence Urmas Reinsalu is silent on when the issue of the NATO air policing mission’s periodic rotation between Lithuania and Estonia, wanted by Estonia, would be resolved.

Meanwhile, Juozas Olekas, National Defence Minister of Lithuania, who wants the mission to stay in the airbase in Lithuania’s Šiauliai, says there are differences of points of view on the issue. . . .

“We exchanged several positions on our participation in joint training events and the successful air policing mission which we also have different points of view on. But we see that we’ll find the best solutions through joint discussions,” the Lithuanian national defence minister told journalists.

Estonia seeks rotation of the air policing mission as of 2015, saying that NATO fighter jets should not only land in Lithuania but also in the Estonian base of Amari.

Meanwhile, Lithuania wants its Air Force base in Šiauliai to keep its status as the main and permanent place of deployment, saying that the rotation scheme would increase costs considerably.  (graphic: Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic)

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