NATO fighter jets serving in the alliance's Baltic Air Policing mission were scrambled nine times last week to identify and escort a total of 32 Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the highest number yet this year.
Figures from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence show that NATO fighters took off daily from Wednesday through Saturday and escorted 32 Russian aircraft, including two Tu-160 strategic bombers, which flew not far from the Baltics' airspace on Thursday.
Last week was the busiest week yet this year for NATO air policing jets, which conduct their mission in the Baltics based out of Ämari Air Base in Estonia and Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania.
All of the Russian aircraft escorted last week were flying between the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and the Russian mainland.
Editor: Aili Vahtla