Sweden to patrol Baltic airspace for first time since joining NATO

Sweden to patrol Baltic airspace for first time since joining NATO

Sweden, which became a member of the North Atlantic Alliance three months ago, will take part in NATO's air policing mission in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia for the first time.

This was announced on Friday by Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson, Ukrinform reports citing Delfi.

"Sweden is determined to be an active member of NATO from day one," Kristersson said after meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at a military base near Stockholm.

NATO nations have been patrolling Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian airspace on a rotating basis since March 2004, when the Baltic states joined the Alliance. Since 2004, the patrols have been conducted from the Šauliai airbase in Lithuania, and since 2014, the core mission has been carried out from the Emari airbase in Estonia.

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Since March of this year, for nine months, while the Emari base is undergoing repairs, the support mission has been based in Lielvard.

As reported, Sweden applied for NATO membership in 2022 after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In March this year, the country was accepted into the Alliance.

Photo: Zuma Press/Scanpix/LETA

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