Estonia says Russia violates international rules with GPS interference

By Thomson Reuters Apr 30, 2024 | 3:37 AM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Estonia accused Russia of violating international airspace regulations by interfering with GPS signals and the Baltic nation’s foreign minister said it will take up the matter with its NATO and European Union partners.

Finnair on Monday announced a temporary suspension of its flights to Tartu in eastern Estonia for a month due to ongoing GPS disturbances that prevented two aircraft from landing.

The Finnish airline said it did not know where the interference originated, but in the past had reported similar problems near Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave and Finland’s eastern border with Russia.

“GPS interference in Estonian airspace by RF (Russian Federation) has affected civil aviation in our region. In doing so Russia violates international regulations,” Estonia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna said on social media X late on Monday, without providing evidence to support the claim.

Neither the Kremlin nor Russia’s Defence Ministry immediately replied to requests for comment.

Tsahkna said Estonia would address the issue with other NATO and EU countries and that he had already discussed it with his Latvian, Lithuanian, Finnish and Swedish counterparts.

Earlier this month, Germany said Russia was very likely behind a series of disturbances affecting navigation in the Baltic region.

The German Defence Ministry pointed to Kaliningrad as their source, though it declined to give any details citing “reasons of military security.”

(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)