Latvia: Russia is practicing blocking the Baltic Sea during Ocean Shield exercises

During the Ocean Shield military exercises Russian army practices drills to block the sea routes to complicate NATO’s access to the Baltic Sea, reports LETA news agency, with reference to the Latvian Defense Ministry.

The Russian military exercises are taking place from August 1 to August 9 in the Baltics, Norwegian and North Seas. More than 10.5 thousand soldiers, 49 warships, 20 support ships, and more than 50 military aircraft are participating in drills. Some of the ships that were involved in the exercises participated in the Navy Day parade in St. Petersburg at the end of July.

The Latvian Ministry pointed out to the increased activity of Russian aircraft and ships during the exercises. Two Su-30 planes were spotted near the border of Latvia. Also, two Russian Tu-95 strategic missile carriers flew over the neutral waters of the Bering Sea. They were intercepted and accompanied by American F-22 and F-18 fighter jets in some parts of the route.

Russian Defense Ministry plans to conduct another military exercise Tsentr 2019 in August—September. The military will practice various maneuvers along the Northern sea route in the Russian Arctic, where they will test new equipment specially created for military operations in the Arctic. Norway has already expressed concern about these exercises.

  Latvia, Russia, NATO