BRUSSELS, November 13. /TASS/. NATO has been sending its fighter jets to carry out unjustified interceptions of Russian planes in the Baltics trying to preserve jobs and excuse the presence of the four multinational battalion battle groups in the region, the Russian mission at NATO said in the wake of the latest reports NATO’s fighters intercepted a Russian Antonov-26 transport plane in the area of Kaliningrad, although the plane was making a pre-planned flight with its transponder turned on and maintained contact with the air traffic controllers all along.
"The plane had a flight plan, its transponder was on and radio contact was maintained all along. What was the reason for the provocative interception on a regular air route to Kaliningrad? It was an attempt by NATO’s military personnel to fan tensions to protect their jobs and excuse the enhanced forward presence of NATO’s battalions in a region where there had been no significant military activity before their arrival," the Russian mission said on its Twitter page.
In this way the Russian mission responded to a statement on the Lithuanian Defense Ministry’s website a NATO fighter on November 6 intercepted one Russian plane Antonov-26 en route from Russia to Kaliningrad, which was flying in accordance with its flight plan with its transponder turned on and in contact with the air traffic controllers on the ground.
In peace time the term "interception" is used to describe a fighter plane’s maneuver to approach the plane of another country for visual identification.
NATO regularly publishes statistics of air interceptions of Russian planes, but usually these reports say nothing how many interceptions were carried out on customary air routes.