21:13 GMT25 September 2020
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    According to the Latvian Army, NATO Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept an alleged Russian maritime patrol plane on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Latvian Army reported Friday that NATO fighter jets were scrambled to intercept a Russian Ilyushin Il-38 maritime patrol aircraft over the Baltic Sea.

    "NATO Baltic Air Policing QRA ITA Typhoon jets on 6 FEB scrambled to intercept RU Armed Forces Il-38 over the Baltic Sea," the Latvian Army tweeted.

    In a similar incident, the Latvian military scrambled NATO Typhoons on Tuesday to escort a Russian Il-76 military transport plane flying in neutral airspace.

    There was no indication that either of the planes entered Latvian airspace. The Russian Defense Ministry stressed all patrol missions were routine and did not violate foreign airspace.

    NATO has accused Russia over the last year of multiple sorties in the Baltic region as relations between the West and Russia soured over Ukraine.

    In response, the Russian Air Force command said these allegations distract public attention from the increased NATO military presence in the Baltic and along western Russian borders.

    The Tuesday scramble was announced a day after the US Defense Department unveiled a plan to disburse $4.5 million in funds for a US-sponsored Baltic air policing initiative.


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    NATO, Ilyushin Il-38, Typhoon aircraft, Latvian Armed Forces, Russia, Latvia
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