Russian GPS Jamming in the Baltic Sea Threatens Air Safety

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.29 - 2024 2:54 PM CET

Foto: X
Foto: X
The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have raised alarms over safety in the Baltic Sea region due to Russia's alleged interference with GPS signals.

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The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have expressed concerns over safety in the Baltic Sea region due to alleged interference by Russia with GPS signals, as reported by The Financial Times.

These concerns escalated following incidents where GPS disruptions affected civil aviation, notably leading to two Finnair flights returning to Finland after encountering navigation issues en route to Estonia.

On April 25 and 26, GPS malfunctions impacted air travel, with two flights from Helsinki to Tartu experiencing significant navigational disruptions, necessitating a return to their origin.

Accusations of Hostile Actions

Such incidents have heightened fears among Baltic foreign ministers of potential aviation accidents.

“If someone turns off your headlights while driving at night, it would be dangerous to continue driving. The situation in the Baltic region near Russian borders is now becoming too dangerous to ignore,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told the Financial Times.

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna described the disruption of GPS signals as part of Russia's broader hostile activities against the Baltic states.

“These actions constitute a hybrid attack that poses a threat to our people and security, which we will not tolerate,” Tsahkna said.

Latvian Foreign Minister Baiba Braze told the publication, “We take these incidents seriously. Our relevant departments maintain contact with colleagues in other countries.”

According to experts cited by the news outlet, tens of thousands of civilian flights have been affected in recent months due to GPS interference. Experts note that jamming the signal using relatively inexpensive equipment is not difficult.

No state has officially taken responsibility for the increasing frequency of interference.

One anonymous official, in a conversation with the Financial Times, suggested that the disturbances are connected with Moscow’s efforts to protect the Kaliningrad region from potential attacks by Ukrainian drones.

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