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Latvia claims 12 Russian military aircraft spotted near its border

July 29, 2015, 14:36 UTC+3 RIGA
Patrol aircraft have identified four Mikoyan MiG-31, four Sukhoi Su-24, three Antonov An-26 and one Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft of the Russian Air Force over the international waters of the Baltic Sea
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Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft

Sukhoi Su-24 aircraft

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Japaridze

RIGA, July 29. /TASS/. A group of 12 Russian combat aircraft has been spotted on Wednesday close to Latvia’s airspace, Latvian National Armed Forces said in a statement.

"Patrol aircraft have identified on Wednesday four Mikoyan MiG-31, four Sukhoi Su-24, three Antonov An-26 and one Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft of the Russian Air Force over the international waters of the Baltic Sea near Latvia’s external sea border," the statement says.

The Latvian Armed Forces noted that Russian aircraft and ships had approached Latvia’s borders more than 60 times this year. According to the data provided earlier by the Latvian Defense Ministry, Russian military aircraft and warships approached the country’s borders more than 250 times last year.

Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov met with the Latvian Defense Minister in late January to discuss the issue. Veshnyakov said that "all flights of the Russian Air Force and the movements of warships were made in strict accordance with international legal norms, and maneuvers of the Russian Armed Forces were conducted transparently within the framework of international agreements and arrangements." It was stressed that no threat to the security of the neighboring countries emanated from Russia.

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