Estonia, Latvia to jointly purchase German air defense systems


Baltic States: Estonian and Latvian defense ministries have announced they plan to fortify their airspace with German air defence systems.

The settlement would be the biggest protection cooperation among the Baltic friends bordering Russia.

The medium-variety IRIS-T SLM air defence gadget, manufactured by gun maker Diehl Defence of Germany, can be delivered in the next 12 months and be operational in 2025.

The defence ministries did not verify the price of the acquisition or the quantity of devices to be bought, including that talks with Diehl are ongoing.

Tallinn and Riga’s defence minister Hanno Pevkur said the settlement is “the biggest one yet” in their protection cooperation.

“Presuming that negotiations are a success, we, Estonia and Latvia, hope to attain the contract and, finally, announce the legitimate winning bidder this summer season,” Pevkur stated.

In a declaration, Latvian Defence Minister Inara Murniece stated, “Our collectively selected medium-variety air protection machine will similarly secure the skies of Latvia and Estonia and will provide the most viable safety for our humans, in addition to civil and army infrastructure.”

The IRIS-T SLM air protection device is designed to protect cities, armies, and the civilian populace from air assaults and is powerful against planes, helicopters, and a number of different threats, including unmanned aerial automobiles, cruise missiles, and munitions.

Germany earlier brought such air defence systems to Ukraine, where they may be said to have been successfully used against Russian objectives.


Q: What do Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have in common?

A: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are neighboring countries located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. They all share historical, cultural, and geographical ties, and they were all part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. They are members of the European Union, the United Nations, and other international organizations.

Q: What is the difference between Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania?

A: Although Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania share similarities, they also have distinct characteristics. Here are some key differences:

  • Language: Latvia’s official language is Latvian, Estonia’s is Estonian, and Lithuania’s is Lithuanian. These languages belong to different branches of the Baltic language family.
  • Capital cities: Riga is the capital of Latvia, Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, and Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania.
  • Population: Latvia has a population of approximately 1.9 million, Estonia has around 1.3 million, and Lithuania has around 2.8 million.
  • Religion: Latvia and Lithuania have a predominantly Catholic population, while Estonia is predominantly Lutheran.

Q: Which is the richest Baltic country?

A: As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Estonia was considered the wealthiest of the Baltic countries. Estonia has experienced significant economic growth and development since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. However, economic conditions can change, so it is advisable to refer to updated sources for the latest information.

Q: Why are there only three Baltic countries?

A: The term “Baltic countries” generally refers to Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because these three countries have historical and geographic connections. They share a common coastline along the Baltic Sea and have a history of being part of the Baltic region. The term is not used to include other neighboring countries like Finland, Sweden, or Russia, even though they also have coastlines along the Baltic Sea.

Q: Why did Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania join NATO?

A: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to ensure their security and defense. After gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, these countries sought to strengthen their ties with Western institutions and alliances. Joining NATO provided them with a collective security guarantee and the ability to cooperate with other member states in matters of defense and military cooperation.

Q: Are Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia part of NATO?

A: Yes, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are all members of NATO. They joined the alliance in 2004 along with several other Central and Eastern European countries. NATO membership ensures their participation in a mutual defense commitment, where an attack on one member is considered an attack on all, and it provides a framework for military cooperation and security collaboration among the member countries.

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