NATO jets in Lithuania alerted by Russian fighter-jet

Captain Donatas Suchockis, public relations officer at the Lithuanian Army’s Joint Staff, told BNS on Tuesday that the signal about a Su-24 flying close to Russia‘s Kaliningrad region was received at about 4 p.m.

“(The aircraft) was flying without a plan or a transponder, it was not in contact,” said Suchockis.

Last week, NATO fighter jets guarding the Baltic skies were scrambled twice to accompany Russian airplanes. On Thursday, they took off from Šiauliai to accompany a Russian transport airplane Il-76 and were scrambled from Estonia to escort another Russian transport plane An-26.

In Lithuania, the air policing mission is carried out by Italian and Polish aviators, with Belgians serving in Poland and Spanish airmen serving in Estonia.

The Alliance’s officials maintain that Russian airplanes flying with their transponders switched off constitute a threat to civilian aviation.

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