NATO fighter jets serving in the Alliance's air policing mission in the Baltic countries last Wednesday were scrambled to intercept a group of 16 Russian military aircraft in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said on Monday.
Russian and NATO jets

The group, including Su-27 fighters, Su-24 attack aircraft, Su-34 bombers and passenger planes, were on their way to mainland Russia. All aircraft, except for the passenger planes, had their onboard transponders off.

On the same day, the Alliance's jets intercepted Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's plane and an escort of Russian fighters.

There were reports last week about Russian and NATO aircraft flying in very close proximity to each other above the Baltic Sea.

The Alliance detected a record number of Russian military aircraft flying over the Baltic Sea between June 12 and 18 and conducted over 30 intercepts during the week.

The NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states is carried out from Lithuania and Estonia.

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