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Russian GPS jamming puts civilian flights at growing risk, Baltic ministers warn

Multiple airlines like Ryanair, Wizz Air, BA, EasyJet report GPS disruptions. Lithuania FM calls it “too precarious to ignore” amid alleged Russian hostile activities.
Illustrative photo. Credit: Daily Mail
Russian GPS jamming puts civilian flights at growing risk, Baltic ministers warn

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said that the situation in the Baltic region near the Russian border has become “too precarious to ignore,” according to Financial Times (FT)

The announcement followed multiple GPS signal disruptions affecting commercial flights reported by airlines like Ryanair, Wizz Air, British Airways, and EasyJet.

The foreign ministers of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have accused Russia of suppressing GPS signals, creating obstacles for aviation in the Baltic Sea area. “We perceive what is happening with GPS as part of Russia’s hostile activities, and we will undoubtedly discuss this with our allies,” Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said, referring to the incidents as “hybrid attacks.”

The Financial Times cites a source claiming Russia is jamming GPS signals to prevent drone attacks on Kaliningrad. Disruptions to GPS have increased since Russia’s war in Ukraine began, with airlines reporting numerous incidents near the Baltic Sea, particularly over Kaliningrad, as well as over the Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean.

“If someone turns off your headlights while you’re driving at night, it gets dangerous. Things in the Baltic region near Russian borders are now getting too dangerous to ignore,” Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s foreign minister, told the Financial Times.

Margus Tsahkna, Estonia’s foreign minister said: “We consider what is happening with GPS as part of Russia’s hostile activities, and we will discuss it with our allies.

“Such actions are a hybrid attack and are a threat to our people and security, and we will not tolerate them.”

In March 2024, a British RAF plane carrying Defense Secretary Grant Shapps and journalists lost signal while flying near Kaliningrad on its return from Poland.

Finnair has suspended flights from Finland to Tartu, Estonia, until at least 31 May due to GPS signal disruptions en route. The airline hopes Tartu airport will implement an alternative, non-GPS navigation system by May, allowing flights to resume. Finnair is the only airline with direct flights between Finland and Tartu.

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