Italian Typhoon fighter-jets performing the NATO air policing mission in Šiauliai, northern Lithuania, were scrambled on Thursday to accompany a Russian reconnaissance airplane.
© AFP/Scanpix

"A signal came shortly before 12 p.m. today to identify an airplane flying from the Kaliningrad region to mainland Russia, it was identified as IL-20," Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian Army's Joint Staff, told BNS.

In his words, the airplane was flying without a plan, with its transponder switched off and did not come into contact with the flight control centre.

On Wednesday, the Italian Typhoons were alerted twice to identify and accompany Russian aircrafts. The first time, the fighter-jets escorted a group of 11 Russian airplanes at night and later, at about 7 p.m., they accompanied one airplane.

NATO fighter-jets jets were scrambled once last week to accompany Russian warplanes.

Russia is currently carrying out a large-scale military exercise, including some elements in its Kaliningrad region wedged between Lithuania and Poland.

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