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2014.11.19 10:19

NATO fighters taken to skies 30 times since September to intercept Russian planes at Baltic borders

ELTA | DELFI | The Lithuania Tribune2014.11.19 10:19

Since the beginning of September, NATO fighter jets stationed in the Baltics have taken to the skies 30 times to identify Russian aircraft flying near Baltic borders, the Latvian Defence Ministry's portal Sargs.lv informs.

Since the beginning of September, NATO fighter jets stationed in the Baltics have taken to the skies 30 times to identify Russian aircraft flying near Baltic borders, the Latvian Defence Ministry's portal Sargs.lv informs.

Since the beginning of September, the Portuguese Air Force has taken the leading role in coordinating the NATO patrol mission over Baltic skies. The mission is made up of four fighters from Portugal and four fighters from Canada, which are stationed in Lithuania, fighters from Germany stationed in Estonia, as well as Dutch fighters stationed in Poland.

As reported, Russian military planes have been observed flying near Latvian territorial waters quite often in recent months.

Flights above neutral waters are not a violation, however, the Russian planes do not observe several international standards and NATO fighter jets have to take off to establish a visual contact and confirm they were not, for example, terrorist-kidnapped planes.

Russian military aircraft usually operate with their automatic receivers turned off and without a flight plan, refusing to respond to civilian air traffic controllers.