NATO fighter jets guarding the Baltic states' airspace were scrambled six times last week to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian defense ministry reported on Monday.
The intercepted aircraft, all flying from Russia towards the exclave of Kaliningrad, included Sukhoi SU-24 and SU-35 fighter jets, Antonov AN-24 and AN-26 transport planes, and an Ilyushin IL-20 reconnaissance plane.
Some of the Russian planes were flying with their onboard transponders switched off and without having filed flight plans, but maintaining communication with the regional air traffic control center. Others did not maintain communication with the regional air traffic control center either, BNS reported.
Two planes were intercepted and accompanied on Tuesday, one on Wednesday and three on Thursday last week, the ministry said.
The NATO Baltic air policing mission is carried out from air bases in Lithuania and Estonia.
Editor: Dario Cavegn