Estonia summons Russian embassy chief over GPS jamming

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HELSINKI (Reuters) -Estonia's foreign ministry has summoned the head of the Russian embassy in Tallinn to protest the jamming of GPS signals, the Baltic country said on Wednesday.

Estonia accuses neighbouring Russia of violating international regulations by disturbing GPS navigation in airspace above the Baltic states, echoing concerns from airlines that say they have contended with such interference for months.

The Estonian foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned Russia's charge d'affaires to convey its message. Moscow and Tallinn last year expelled each other's ambassadors as relations deteriorated in the wake of Moscow'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," Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said in a statement.

Russia's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

GPS, short for Global Positioning System, is a network of satellites and receiving devices used for positioning, navigation and timing on Earth in everything from ships and planes to cars.

The jamming of GPS signals can be disruptive to commercial airliners but they can usually navigate by other means.

Finnish carrier Finnair last month said it would pause all flights to Tartu in Estonia to allow the local airport to upgrade its navigation system, which has so far relied only on GPS.

(Reporting by Essi Lehto in Helsinki and Andrius Sytas in Vilnius, editing by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Sharon Singleton)