20:58 GMT18 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Sixteen foreign aircraft have been spotted while carrying out reconnaissance activities near the Russian border over the past seven days, an infographic published by the Russian Armed Forces' official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda showed on Friday.

    Russian fighters had been scrambled four times in order to prevent foreign planes from trespassing over the past week, the data showed. The Russian airspace has not been violated, according to the outlet.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that NATO has significantly boosted its reconnaissance activities in the Baltics and the Black Sea.

    "A significant increase in NATO reconnaissance activity in the Baltics and the Black Sea region has been recorded. This year alone, the aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces have been alerted to intercept possible violators of the state border more than 120 times," the minister said at the Russia-Belarus joint military panel.

    READ MORE: Vostok-2018 Drills Show Russian Army Capable of Countering Threats — Putin

    Over the past years, the NATO members have been increasing their military build-up in Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries, citing the need for protection from alleged Russian aggression. Moscow has repeatedly stated it would never attack any NATO ally. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Western military alliance is aware of this Russian stance but uses alleged Russian aggression as a pretext for boosting its military build-up near the Russian borders.

    However, a security source has told Sputnik that Russian vigilance indicates that stealth technologies are not effective against Russian air defenses.

    READ MORE: Call of Duty: Russian Army's Tough, Ultra-Secure Phone Will Make You Freak


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