VILNIUS, May 11. /TASS/. NATO fighters based at the Lithuanian air base Zokniai took off on Monday to follow up two Russian military planes on a pre-agreed flight, press officer of the Lithuanian Army’s Joint Staff Captain Donatas Suchockis said.
He said two An-22 military-transport planes were on a pre-agreed flight from Russia’s enclave Kaliningrad region to mainland Russia. He said one of the Russian planes was flying with the transponder switched on, while the transponder of the other one was switched off.
Both planes maintained air/ground radio contact.
Identifying and escorting an air target is a routine procedure. It is carried out by fighter jets of NATO member stationed at the Lithuanian air base and patrolling the airspace of the Baltic States which have no technical means of their own to do this.
At the present time, four Norwegian and four Italian fighters are stationed at the Lithuanian air base.