Russian Planes Spark NATO Scramble in Baltics

Russian IL-20 aircraft for electronic reconnaissance

From AFP:  NATO jets were scrambled Nov. 7 as four Russian air force planes flew near the territory of the Baltic states, Lithuania’s defense ministry said, adding that the unusual number was a cause for concern.

Defense ministry spokeswoman Ugne Naujokaityte said that four Danish F-16fighters, which currently police the skies of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, took to the air twice to escort the Russian planes.

Two AN26 transport aircraft and a TU134 bomber flew in succession from Russia’s Baltic territory of Kaliningrad to Russia itself, and an IL20 intelligence-gathering plane flew in the opposite direction. . . .

"The intensity of these Russian planes’ flights raises concern. It proves once again the importance and necessity of the NATO air police mission in Baltic states," Naujokaityte said.  (photo: Aviation Forum)

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