NATO’s new chief visiting Lithuania

Jens Stoltenberg
Reuters/Scanpix

The Lithuanian president and the NATO chief will visit the Air Space Control Centre in Karmėlava where the joint Baltic Command and Reporting Centre is stationed. Its main function is to carry out air defence operations, including command and control over the fighter jets participating in the Baltic air policing mission, the President’s Office said.

Stoltenberg is coming to Lithuania after visiting the other two Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia where he discussed Russia’s increased military activity next to the Baltic countries.

NATO fighter-jets have been scrambled more than 100 times so far this year, as compared to just four times in 2010, in response to Russian military planes flying close to the Baltic states.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defence says the figures “are raising concern over Russia’s military activity near the borders of the Baltic states.” Moreover, flights with transponders switched off or without a schedule also pose threat to civil aviation.

Stoltenberg, Norway‘s former prime minister, started as NATO’s secretary general on October 1.

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