Russian Military Planes During The Kavkaz-2009 Strategic Military Exercise In Southern Russia
IN PHOTO: Russian military planes perform during the final phase of the Kavkaz-2009 strategic military exercise in southern Russia, 350 km (217 miles) southeast of Stavropol July 6, 2009. Reuters/Eduard Korniyenko

Russia's incursion in Ukraine has led the Baltic states to boost their defences. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are on heightened alert as Russian military planes fly over their airspace with assault ships patrolling their sea borders daily.

The small Baltic states have spent 50 years under the Soviet Union regime and are now wary of the Kremlin's ambition to expand territory, according to the Telegraph. The annexation of Crimea and Russia's reported support for separatists in Ukraine appeared to be a wake-up call on the part of smaller Baltic states to boost their military arsenal.

Previous reports have indicated that NATO has intercepted more than 30 Russian aircraft last week alone as they flew over the Baltic Sea and off the Norway coast. On the same day of "unprecedented" Russian aircraft activity, Lithuania's military was on high alert, following the appearance of 22 Russian warships in the Baltic Sea. A corvette was also spotted carrying heavy artillery within three miles of Latvia's sea border.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania military build-up

Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rolvas referred to the unexpected Russian military activity as "not just bad weather, this is climate change," the report said. The Baltic states have regained their independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 before joining the NATO and the European Union in 2004. NATO allies have assured Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania of military support as any aggression directed towards them will be considered as an "attack" on the entire Atlantic defence alliance.

In an effort to boost Estonia's military defence systems, Estonian Defence Minister Sven Mikser has closed an arms deal for the country that will be regarded as the biggest military procurement it has ever made. Estonia will buy 44 CV90 combat vehicles and six Leopard tanks from The Netherlands for 138 million euro.

Latvia is also strengthening its military with the purchase of 123 combat vehicles from Britain for 48 million euro in August. The small Baltic state has sealed a deal to acquire 800 Carl Gustav anti-tank weapons and 100 trucks. Lithuania also made its own defence upgrades with the purchase of a GROM air defence system from Poland for 34 million euro in September. It bought more Javelin anti-tank missiles from the U.S. for 16 million euro a month after.

Vladimir Putin playing a 'dangerous game'

Meanwhile, British Defence Secratery Michael Fallon has warned of a "dangerous" mid-air collision with Russian aircraft. The Royal Air Force jets have already been scrambled over 100 times within the year to intercept Russian jets. In a Daily Mail report, the defence secretary has warned that Russia's continued incursions in UK airspace may lead to a passenger aircraft being shot down by accident.

Fallon said Russian Vladimir Putin was playing a "provocative and dangerous" game by allowing Russian Bombers to fly over British skies. He remarked that the aggressive incursions could trigger a war with NATO allies and bluntly said Britain should prepare for the worst scenario as Russia displays its military strength.