NATO fighter jets conducting the Alliance's air-policing mission from Lithuania and Estonia were last week scrambled eight times to identify and escort Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, intercepting a total of 21 Russian planes, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Russian fighter jets
© AFP / Scanpix

Around half of the Russian planes were fighter-jets. The NATO jets also identified several transport and passenger planes over the Baltic Sea, it said in a press release.

Most of the Russian aircraft had their automatic transponders switched off.

The biggest number of scrambles took place last Thursday, when the Alliance's jets took off three times in total and intercepted ten aircraft.

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