NATO to fly AWACS over Poland, Romania to monitor Ukraine crisis


NATO will start AWACS reconnaissance flights over Poland and Romania to help monitor the crisis in Ukraine, the alliance said on Monday.

NATO ambassadors, acting on a recommendation from the alliance’s top military commander US Air ForceGen. Philip Breedlove, gave the go-ahead to the flights on Monday, a NATO spokesman said.

NATO to fly AWACS over Poland, Romania to monitor Ukraine crisis

NATO does not plan supplying Ukraine with the data of radar surveillance in Crimea obtained with the aid of the aircraft assigned to the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), which are due to begin flights over the territories of Poland and Romania as of Wednesday, March 12, a diplomatic source in Brussels told Itar-Tass Monday.

Earlier on the same day, NATO Council passed a decision on launching regular flights of AWACS jets for watching the situation in Crimea and in Ukraine, in line with a recommendation issued by General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe.

He claimed that the radar surveillance data would make the North-Atlantic pact members more informed on the situation in Ukraine and especially in Crimea and would make it possible to get all the necessary information on movements of combat units in that region.

According to Gen Breedlove, the measure would also respond to the concerns on the part of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland about the operative situation the borders of the pact

“These flights will enhance the alliance’s situational awareness and all will take place solely over alliance territory,” he said.

AWACS forces report directly to the staff of NATO’s allied force in Europe, and that is why their flights can begin very soon after a decision is taken to bring them into action.

Flights will be made from bases in Britain and Germany.

Washington said earlier it was sending up to eighteen F-16 fighter jets and several refueling jets to the former Soviet Baltic republics and Poland.

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