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The Lithuanian Air Force on Wednesday recorded a Lithuanian airspace violation by a civilian An-2 aircraft that twice crossed into the country's airspace from Belarus, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Thursday.
A border
A border
© Reuters / Scanpix

The aircraft entered Lithuanian airspace in the district of Varėna at 2:03-2:07 p.m. and 2:14-2:17 p.m., the ministry said, adding that the violation was registered by Lithuanian military radars and visually.

The State Border Guard Service has launched a pre-trial investigation into the unlawful crossing of the state border

The Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė said that a diplomatic note would be handed on Thursday to Belarus' chargé d'affaires over the incident.

This is the first Lithuanian airspace violation registered this year, Senior Lieutenant Audrius Asmontas, an Air Force public relations officer, confirmed to BNS.

According to Asmontas, the contingent conducting NATO's Baltic air-policing mission was informed about the incident and they were ready to react, but the violation was short and there was no need for fighter jets to be scrambled.

Attempts were made to establish contact with the aircraft, but it had no onboard transponders, he said.

Belarusian airspace was in late April violated by a P46T light aircraft piloted by a Danish citizen that had taken off from Vilnius Airport. Under the flight plan, the plane was to fly to the border with Belarus and then turn back, Lithuanian officials said.

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