NATO jets in Baltics scrambled to escort 7 Russian warplanes last week

NATO exercise
Foto: NATO nuotr.

NATO fighter jets serving in the Alliance's air-policing mission in the Baltic countries last week were scrambled to identify and escort seven Russian military aircraft flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defence Ministry said on Monday.

Most of these were transport and reconnaissance aircraft flying with their onboard transponders switched off.

Russia said a couple of months ago that it had invited NATO experts to Moscow for talks on the possibility of all military aircraft keeping their transponders on during flights in the Baltic Sea region.

However, individual NATO member states have said that they will not hold talks with Russian experts at the technical level and propose that discussions on this issue be conducted within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The NATO air-policing mission is carried out from Lithuania and Estonia.

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