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MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. Using the current crisis in Ukraine as a pretext, the North Atlantic Alliance raises the number of its aircraft at airfields in NATO states in Eastern Europe, Chief Commander of Russia’s Air Force Colonel General Viktor Bondarev told a news briefing on Tuesday.
“Misusing the current crisis in Ukraine as another reason for accusing Russia of deliberate escalation of tension on the European continent, the NATO leadership increases consistently the number of flights at airfields of NATO states in Eastern Europe,” Bondarev said.
Under the pretext of ensuring security in the Baltic states, the number of tactical fighter jets patrolling the air space in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia with deployment at airbases Zokniai in Lithuania and Amari in Estonia has been increased 3.5 times. Meanwhile, US and NATO air squadrons of up to 12 tactical fighter jets have been deployed additionally at Polish airbases in Malbork and Minsk Mazowiecki and Campia Turzii in Romania on a rotation basis since the start of this year.
“NATO tactical aircraft deployed at airbases in Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria are participating actively in joint military exercises and training with armed forces of these countries,” the chief commander noted.