Estonia Confronts Russian Embassy Chief Over Alleged GPS Jamming

Estonia’s foreign ministry has taken a firm stance against Russia’s purported jamming of GPS signals, summoning the head of the Russian embassy in Tallinn to express its concerns, the Baltic country announced on Wednesday.

Accusing neighboring Russia of breaching international regulations by interfering with GPS navigation in the airspace above the Baltic states, Estonia echoes the grievances of airlines that have reported grappling with such disruptions for months.

In response to these actions, the Estonian foreign ministry summoned Russia’s charge d’affaires to convey its strong objection. This move comes against the backdrop of strained relations between Moscow and Tallinn, exemplified by the reciprocal expulsion of ambassadors last year following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“Jamming the GPS signal is an element of Russia’s hybrid activities, disrupting everyday life and threatening the security of allies,” remarked Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna in a statement. As of the time of reporting, Russia’s foreign ministry had not provided any immediate response to the allegations.

GPS, an acronym for Global Positioning System, serves as a critical network of satellites and receiving devices utilized for positioning, navigation, and timing on Earth, facilitating operations in various sectors ranging from maritime and aviation to automotive.

While the jamming of GPS signals can potentially disrupt commercial airliners, these aircraft typically possess alternative navigation systems to navigate safely.

In a related development, Finnish carrier Finnair recently announced a temporary suspension of all flights to Tartu in Estonia to facilitate upgrades to the local airport’s navigation system. This upgrade aims to enhance navigation capabilities, reducing reliance solely on GPS technology.

The confrontation underscores Estonia’s commitment to safeguarding its airspace and infrastructure against external disruptions while signaling its readiness to address challenges arising from regional tensions.