We reported in MV-Lehti yesterday, Friday, that the Finnish Navy conducted military exercises to place sea mines in the Baltic Sea from NH90 helicopters. During the war exercises, an operation was practiced and carried out, the aim of which is to prevent the mobility of the ships of the Russian Navy heading to and from St. Petersburg.
At the same time, helicopter exercises of NATO forces were taking place in Finland, as reported in English by the Uti Jaeger Regiment. In addition, a large American landing support ship sailing in the Baltic Sea was concentrated in Helsinki.
Now it is reported in RT news that Tallinn and Helsinki are negotiating on the integration of coastal missile batteries, which would allow the two NATO member countries to blockade the Russian fleet in the Gulf of Finland. The Minister of Defense of Estonia told about this yesterday, Friday.
"This would make the Baltic Sea NATO's inland sea," (Estonian Defence Minister) Hanno Pevkur said, repeating the comments made earlier by the leaders of Poland and Lithuania. “We need to integrate coastal defense. The flight range of Estonian and Finnish missiles is greater than the width of the Gulf of Finland," Pevkur told Iltalehti.
The range of Finland's MTO85M coastal missiles is more than 100 kilometers, and the Gulf of Finland is about 82 kilometers wide from Helsinki to Tallinn. Estonia plans to buy Blue Spear missiles with a range of almost 300 kilometers from Israel later this year.
"The Baltic Sea will be NATO's inland sea when Finland and Sweden have joined NATO. Compared to the current situation, the situation is changing," Pevkur said.
He assured that the NATO countries can close the Baltic Sea to the Russian fleet if necessary.
Poland and the former Soviet republics of the Baltic Sea received Finland's and Sweden's application to NATO with enthusiasm. Polish President Andrzej Duda and Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics both said after the alliance's summit in Spain at the end of June that they hoped the Baltic Sea would become a "NATO lake".
Pevkur said he would also discuss airspace with the Finnish defense minister, but avoided answering Iltalehti's question about whether the United States would send its F-35 fighter jets to Estonia.
"For me, this is one airspace. Finnish airspace cannot be protected if Estonian airspace is not protected at the same time and vice versa. Fighters cross the 80-kilometer-wide Gulf of Finland in minutes," he said.
Severely driven to Russophobia, Estonia has been one of the most vocal NATO member states, having also demanded a provocative confrontation with Russia. For example, Tallinn announced on Thursday that it will ban the entry of Russians with EU Schengen visas starting next week and will dismantle all Soviet-era monuments "as soon as possible".