NATO fighter jets, stationed in Lithuania's northern city of Šiauliai, were on Monday scrambled to identify a Russian military reconnaissance plane that was flying with its transponder switched off.
Antano Gedrimo nuotr.

NATO jets took off at around 1 p.m. after a signal was received about an Il-20 flying from mainland Russia to the country's enclave of Kaliningrad, Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian army's Joint Staff, told BNS.

"The plane was flying without a pre-filled plan, with its transponder switched off and without maintaining radio communication," he said.

NATO officials say Russian planes flying with their transponders switched off pose threat to civil aviation.

In Lithuania, the NATO air policing mission is carried out by Norway and Italy, while British jets guard the Baltic skies from Estonia and Belgian patrol it from Poland.

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