Estonian radars will control Russian airspace

The budget Estonia has adopted with deficit provides for high defence expenditures, in particular, on expensive radars to control Russian airspace.

Viktor Andreyev, a member of the parliamentary financial commission and a deputy from the United People's Party of Estonia, pointed out that the budget deficit to a greater degree was conditioned by huge defence expenditures of Estonia.

The MP stated that the majority of funds would be allocated to procure expensive radars designed to control Russian airspace. He did no exclude that "evidently" these expenses were imposed on his country by NATO.

The Leader of the Narva Union of Russian Citizens, Yuri Mishin, in his interview opined that "such spending on "an alien person" would only trigger protests from the Estonian population" and would "enhance social and political split of society." According to Mr Mishin, defence expenditures were increased at the time when "in the north-east of the republic workplaces were cut and poverty was overwhelming the region." The Narva Union of Russian Citizens, according to its leader, supported the proposal of the United People's Party of Estonia to hold an all-Estonian referendum on joining NATO.

In particular, Estonia procured a long-range radar manufactured by the US Lokheed Martin company worth 200 million crona. The radar is expected to be installed at the end of March 2003 in the republic's north-east. The radar is capable of monitoring airspace at an altitude of up to 30 km and at a distance of 450 km.

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