03:45 GMT26 January 2021
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    According to Latvian National Armed Forces, NATO fighters were scrambled to intercept a Russian Il-20 aircraft.

    MOSCOW, January 23 (Sputnik) - NATO scrambled Typhoon fighters after a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft was spotted over the Baltic Sea, Bloomberg reports.

    "NATO Baltic Air Policing QRA ESP Typhoon jest on 23 JAN scrambled to intercept RU Armed Forces Il-20 over the Baltic Sea," Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) said via a post on Twitter.

    Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, NATO has increased its presence in the Baltic region. Starting May 1, the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission forces are based not just in Lithuania, which now houses 8 aircraft instead of 4, but in Estonia as well, where four F-16 fighter jets of the Royal Danish Air Force were deployed.

    Also, about 600 US servicemen had arrived in the region in late April to participate in a series of drills and maneuvers.

    In December 2014, NBS had identified several Russian military aircraft over the Baltic Sea just outside Latvian territorial waters. According to NBS, from January 2014 until September 1, 2014, Russian ships and aircraft approached Latvian border 173 times.

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    Tags:
    NATO, Il-20, Eurofighter Typhoon, F-16 fighter jet, interception, Latvian National Armed Forces, Russia, US, Lithuania, Latvia
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