The Italian Typhoon fighter jets, stationed in the Lithuanian northern city of Šiauliai as part of NATO's Baltic air policing mission, were on Wednesday scrambled to accompany two Russian military transport aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea.
© AFP/Scanpix

"An-22 and An-72 planes were intercepted and identified, flying from mainland Russia to the region of Kaliningrad. The Russian planes were flying without a plan but with their transponders on and were in contact with the control center," Donatas Suchockis, a spokesman for the Lithuanian army, told BNS on Thursday.

Up to 2,000 Russian troops, mainly paratroopers, are currently taking part in a training event, started on Wednesday, in western Russia near the borders of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The assault on and takeover of an airfield in a hostile country is part of the training scenario, Russia's Defence Ministry has confirmed.

Russia has been actively holding military exercises near the Baltic states and other European countries since the start of the war in Ukraine in February, 2014. In response, NATO stepped up its Baltic air policing mission, carried out since 2004, sending in additional NATO fighter jets to Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

NATO jets accompanied Russian aircraft flying near the Baltic states around 150 times last year. There were no such incidents last week.

BNS
Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją skelbti, cituoti ar kitaip atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB "BNS" sutikimo neleidžiama.

Last partisan Kraujelis-Siaubunas to be buried at Antakalnis Cemetery

The remains of Antanas Kraujelis-Siaubunas , Lithuania's last partisan who died with a gun in his...

Almost a third of Lithuanians at risk of poverty

Some 28.3 percent of the Lithuanian population were at risk of povert y or social exclusion in...

Hackers fake press release about Lithuania asking US to move nuclear weapons

Hackers have sent out a fake press release claiming to be from the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry and...

National defense decided to buy six American Black Hawk helicopters

The leadership of Lithuania's national defense system has decided to buy six American Black Hawk...

Lithuanian army helicopter saves injured Russian citizen from tanker

A Lithuanian army helicopter saved an injured Russian citizen from a tanker , Lithuania's...