Lieutenant Colonel Piotr Wyrembski, deputy head of the mission, told BNS that NATO fighter jets usually have to take off from the base in Šiauliai, north Lithuania, in order to escort Russian warplanes flying from northern Russia to its Kaliningrad region.
In his words, this can be explained by growing frequency in Russia’s war games and reinforced Russian Air Force.
“The activity in the air-space is growing gradually and it can be seen every year. A few years ago, it was rather trivial, and now it [the number of take-offs] is growing with every rotation and every mission,” said Wyrembski.
A Polish air contingent currently serves in the Lithuanian Air Force Aviation Base in Šiauliai with British airmen. In September, the mission will be taken over by Canada and Portugal, before going back to Poland and Great Britain again in January.
NATO stepped up the guard of the Baltic air-space in the wake of Russian aggression in Ukraine. In addition to Polish MiG- 29 and British Eurofighter Typhoon in Lithuania, Denmark has delegated fighter jets to Estonia, and France has sent some to Poland.