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NATO jets in Baltics scrambled twice last week to escort Russian aircraft

Russian Tu-160 and Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter jet.
Russian Tu-160 and Belgian Air Force F-16 fighter jet. Source: Belgian Air Force

NATO fighter jets deployed as part of the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states were scrambled twice last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Last Tuesday, NATO jets intercepted Russia's Il-20 armored attack aircraft flying in the international airspace from continental Russia towards Denmark.

On the same day, NATO jets intercepted Russia's Il-20 armored attack aircraft flying in the international airspace from continental Russia towards Denmark and then returning back to continental Russia.

In both cases, the planes had their onboard transponders off and had no flight plans but were maintaining radio communication with air traffic control centers.

The alliance's air policing mission in the Baltic states is conducted from Lithuania and Estonia.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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