NATO fighter jets, stationed in Lithuania as part of NATO's Baltic air policing mission, were scrambled three times on Wednesday to identify and accompany Russian planes flying over the Baltic Sea.
Antano Gedrimo nuotr.

"We had three flights," Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian army's Joint Staff, told BNS on Thursday.

At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, NATO fighter jets took off to identify and accompany Russian Il-76 and An-26 planes flying in the international airspace to the Russian region of Kaliningrad. Both planes were flying according to pre-filled plans and maintained radio communication. The An-26 was flying with its onboard transponder switched off, however.

At around 11:20 a.m., NATO jets were scrambled to identify an An-26 flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia. The plane was flying with its transponder switched off but had a pre-filled plan and maintained radio communication.

At 8 p.m., jets took off to identify two An-26s flying to Kaliningrad. Both aircraft were flying without maintaining radio communication and with their transponders switched off and one of the planes was flying without a pre-filled plan.

The Latvian army twitted on Wednesday that besides the mentioned planes, NATO Baltic air policing mission jets were also scrambled to identify and accompany four MiG-31 and four Su-34 fighter jets.

NATO's Baltic air policing mission is being carried out by Norway and Italy in Lithuania, Belgium in Poland and the UK in Estonia.

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