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Lithuania-deployed NATO jets accompany Russian planes on two flights last week

November 21, 2016, 18:55 UTC+3 VILNIUS

French Mirage 2000 aircraft followed Russian Il-76 and Il-20 jets on November 14 and November 17, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry reports

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© EPA/ANTHONY JEULAND/FRENCH MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

VILNIUS, November 21 /TASS/. NATO fighter jets deployed at Lithuania’s Zokniai air base accompanied Russian jets on two flights last week, the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said in a weekly review of the situation in the country’s airspace.

According to the ministry, French Mirage 2000 aircraft followed Russian Il-76 and Il-20 jets on November 14 and November 17, respectively, which were flying en route to Russia’s Kaliningrad region over international waters in the Baltic Sea.

"The flight routes had been agreed on in advance. The (Russian) planes were in radio contact with ground control centers. The Il-20 aircraft was flying with its flight identification transponders off," the Lithuanian Defense Ministry said in its review.

The Russian Defense Ministry has stated many times that Russian warplanes fly over neutral waters in strict compliance with international law. Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said that Russia was ready for consultations with partners from the Baltic States, Scandinavia and Poland to discuss resolving mutual concerns linked to military activities outside state borders.

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