If you believe the Western press, NATO again rejected the hand extended by Russia for the sake of achieving important military-political compromise. The Alliance has rejected Putin’s proposal be required to include on their planes so-called transponders – but Russia demands it. And he did it not only because of the reluctance to meet Moscow.
That NATO has rejected Russia’s proposal be required to include transponders (i.e. the special systems, allowing to determine the location of the aircraft) when flying over the Baltic sea, reported the Wall Street Journal. It refers to its sources in NATO. Official confirmation of this information, NATO has not yet given.
“To make excuses for the mistakes of their military politicians do not want”
It is assumed that the topic of transponders will be discussed during the meeting in new York the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. This is the Associated Press gave to understand Stoltenberg. The main theme of his talks with Lavrov, he said, will be the prevention of incidents involving aviation in Russia and NATO countries, which recently became quite a lot, including in the Baltic sea area.
For example, Estonia twice this year Russia handed over a protest note related to the violation, according to the Estonian side, its airspace by Russian military aircraft. In both cases, the transponders of Russian aircraft, according to the Russian side, were included. In turn, the Russian Ministry of defense regularly announces that the NATO planes flying over the Baltic (and not only on it) included without transponders. About the latest incident of its kind, the defense Ministry reported in early September, when a patrol aircraft of the German Navy P-3C Orion disappeared from radar when flying in the direction of Kaliningrad.
The most famous air incidents were in the Baltic sea in the spring. On 13 April the US said about the dangerous convergence of Russian aircraft with an American destroyer “Donald cook”. A few days later, they reported “dangerous intercept” su-27 reconnaissance RC-135, by the way, according to Russian sources, flying with the transponder off. A similar incident occurred at the end of April. Then, according to American data, Russian su-27 did aerobatics close to a us military aircraft.
In all cases, the Americans accused the Russian pilots in “incompetence”, which supposedly could lead to collisions. The representative of the Russian Ministry of defense Igor Konashenkov said, ‘we are already starting to get used to the insults of the Pentagon”. The actions of the Russian aviation, it is called justified. “Reconnaissance aircraft RC-135U whenever trying to sneak up to the Russian border with the transponder off. Therefore, the duty air defense forces need to be raised in the air fighter to visually identify the aircraft type and tail number”, – he said.
Flights without transponders and turned off the transponders pose a risk of collision with civil aircraft, say in Russia, and in NATO countries. However, any measures to solve the problems was not offered until July. At a meeting of Council Russia – the NATO the President of Finland Sauli Niinisto proposed to ban the flights included without transponders over the Baltic sea. Russia has supported it. At the same time Vladimir Putin has reminded that the requirement of flying with the flight of aircraft of the NATO countries is much more relevant than for Russia. “The number of flights by NATO over the Baltic in this mode is twice the efficiency of the flights of the Russian aircraft, – said the Russian President. Is not our invention, it is a statistic”.
Thus, in fact, Russia has changed its previous position. If earlier, its representatives argued that to place or not to place transponders on Board the aircraft is a sovereign right of any country (no international agreements the installation of these devices do not provide), then Moscow has proposed a compromise. Moreover, Russia expressed its willingness to work directly with regional countries expressing concern over the Russian military aircraft flights. To this end, the governments of the Baltic States, Poland, Finland and Sweden were sent a invitation to send representatives for consultations in Moscow, where should be discussed the issue of security of the Baltic sea.
However, it is clear that these consultations, if held, is not in full force. The Ministry of defence of Estonia has announced that the strengthening of cooperation with Russia in the field of security is not possible. So their representatives in Moscow the country would not send. After all this, according to the Estonian authorities, is contrary to the decision of NATO from 2014 to stop any contacts with Russia.
The Russian proposal did not arouse enthusiasm in the United States. Pentagon spokesman Michel Baldanza not expressed directly and openly for the Finnish initiative. “We welcome Russia’s interest in transparency of military operations and to reduce risks to improve safety,” she did a very evasive statement. And now NATO, according to the authoritative American edition, finally refused to fly with the transponders.
Military expert Viktor murakhovski believes that such refusal was natural, not only because, as he put it, “in the Baltic sea, American intelligence officers lurking in your lake,” and all these flights are operated with transponders turned off. He believes that by agreeing to the proposal of the Finnish President, the leaders of the NATO countries have put myself in an extremely awkward position in front of their own voters.
“They do not want to disclose the routes of its aircraft not to our Ministry of defense, and so their tracks with the help of their radar equipment, and its society, – said murakhovski in conversation with the newspaper LOOK. – In case the transponders would be turned on, then anyone could, by visiting the appropriate site, to see where is flying a particular aircraft of NATO.” Then not only will I lose the effect of the secrecy necessary in intelligence missions. In the case of any incident will have to rely not only on the words of the defense agencies but also on independent data. “To make excuses for the mistakes of their military politicians do not want,” concludes murakhovski.