French and German aviators will take over the NATO air-policing mission in the Baltic states in September.

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A French contingent with their Mirage fighter-jets will replace Portuguese airmen currently serving in the Šiauliai Aviation Base in Lithuania, while Germans with Eurofighter Typhoon jets will take over the mission from the United Kingdom in the Amari base in Estonia, Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence has confirmed.

The air-policing jets routinely identify and escort Russian warplanes flying in the international airspace above the Baltic Sea several times a week.

The mission has been conducted in the three Baltic states since the nations joined the Alliance in 2004. Amid the increase in Russia's military activity over the last several years, the Baltic nations would want the Allied jets present in their territories to conduct combat tasks in case of a crisis.

BNS
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