Spanish fighter jet accidentally fires missile in Estonia

NATO fighter jet ‘accidentally’ fires live missile near Russian border

Spanish jet accidentally fires missile above Estonia

"A Spanish Eurofighter based in Lithuania accidentally fired a missile without causing any harm", the ministry said in a statement, adding that the incident happened Tuesday, August 7, "in an area of southwest Estonia authorized for this type of exercise".

A Spanish fighter jet has accidentally fired a missile during a training exercise in Estonia.

Colonel Riivo Valge, head of the Estonian Air Force, said the warhead was far less damaging than a ground-targeted bomb. The missile fired by the jet should have self-destructed but apparently failed to do so.

Estonia's land border with Russian Federation is to the east of Tartu. "No damage has been reported".

"I have ordered a suspension of all military sorties [by the Spanish jets] until the situation is resolved", the Estonian Defense Minister Juri Luik said, as cited by the national ERR broadcaster.

"At the present moment, we can not confirm the existence of any contacts between the NATO Operations Command and the Russian military on this incident", a NATO official told Russian news agency TASS.

A Norwegian F-16 fighter, right, and an Italian Eurofighter Typhoon fighter over the Baltics during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation air-policing mission, May 20, 2015.

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According to UK's The Telegraph, Spain's Defence Ministry was investigating the cause of the misfire.

After the incident, the jets returned to their air base in Siauliai in northern Lithuania.

Ratas and Stoltenberg also discussed the results of July's Brussels Summit and agreed that increasing the alliance's defense expenditures is important.

Over recent years. the air-policing mission has been on heightened alert due to increased Russian air activity in the region. The NATO aircraft have been frequently tasked with the interception and escort of aircraft from neighbouring Russian Federation.

Russia's ministry of defence in Moscow is yet to comment on the accidental missile launch in Estonia.

The Baltic countries - including former Soviet states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - are on edge after Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

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