Baltics to call for deployment of US Patriot anti-missile system

Because of rising worries of possible Russian aggression, the NATO-aligned Baltic states have been calling for the deployment of the Patriot anti-missile system in the region. Their demand of the anti-ballistic system has increased primarily since May.

The reason for this is the increasing concern about the Russian Federation and the constant presence of its Iskander-M missile system in the Kaliningrad region. Fears are also triggered by the planned joint military exercises of Russia and Belarus, which Lithuania believes are a possible simulation of an attack against NATO. Although the North Atlantic Alliance's combat groups enhanced their presence on NATO's eastern border, according to the Baltic States this military presence is still not sufficient. The United States, however, prefer to refrain from any provocation against Russia, and the deployment of the missile defence system in the Baltic is thus unlikely, but according to US Ministry of Defense James Mattis not absolutely off the table as he informed in May. In an effort to secure their own independent missile defense, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are conducting talks on the development of a joint mid-range air-defence system, as they have so far only relied on the short-range anti-aircraft defense system. The acquisition of the missile defense system is also considered by Romania, which, along with other European NATO states, is increasing its defense spending.

About author: Jonáš Vlk

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