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Germany says Russia very likely responsible for Baltic GPS disruptions

BERLIN (Reuters) -Russia is very likely to have been behind a series of disturbances affecting GPS navigation in the Baltic region, the German Defence Ministry said on Thursday, pointing to the Kaliningrad exclave as a source of the problem.

"The persistent disruptions to the global navigation satellite system are very likely of Russian origin and are based on disruptions in the electromagnetic spectrum, including those originating in the Kaliningrad Oblast," a spokesperson for the ministry told Reuters, confirming a report by news website t-online.

The spokesperson declined to give details on how Berlin made its assessment or the exact nature of the disruptions, citing "reasons of military security".

Kaliningrad is Russian territory wedged between Lithuania and Poland on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

The Russian embassy in Berlin declined to comment on the matter.

Last month, a government source told Reuters that Russia was believed to have jammed the satellite signal on an aircraft used by British defence minister Grant Shapps when it flew close to Kaliningrad.

The aviation industry has voiced concern over a surge in GPS interference linked to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

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

(Reporting by Rachel More and James PearsonEditing by Alexandra Hudson and Peter Graff)