NATO scrambles jets after Russian military planes spotted over Baltic Sea

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NATO scrambles jets after Russian military planes spotted over Baltic Sea | Fox News

STOCKHOLM – The Swedish Air Force and NATO jets on Tuesday tracked four Russian combat aircraft flying with their transponders turned off over the Baltic Sea, officials said.

The Russian planes — two long-range, nuclear-capable Tu-22M3 bombers and two Sukhoi Su-27 fighters — were flying in international airspace, according to Sweden's Armed Forces and alliance sources.

NATO said it scrambled Danish jets and Italian jets based in Lithuania early Tuesday to identify the Russian aircraft which it said were heading to the Russian Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.

"The Russian military aircraft did not use their onboard transponder; they were not in contact with civilian Air Traffic Control and they were not on a pre-filed flight plan," a NATO military officer said on condition he not be identified by name in keeping with alliance practice.

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said it was "unacceptable" for the Russian planes to be flying with shut-off transponders that are necessary for identifying aircraft on radar, calling it violation of international aviation rules.

"This has happened now on a number of occasions and in a very challenging way," Wallstrom told reporters in Stockholm. "We are tired of always having to protest against this kind of ... breach of rules."

NATO and Sweden, which is not a member of the alliance, have reported an increase in Russian air maneuvers over the Baltic Sea in recent years.

Tuesday's sighting comes as Finnish and Swedish military aircraft are preparing to train with U.S. fighters over the Baltic Sea, and American and NATO forces continue military exercises in the Baltic countries.

The Swedish military said the threat against Sweden had not grown but that the armed forces were watching the "increased activity" in the region.
 
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All that's left now is for Russia to own up to the fact that they're clearly interested in the Balkans. The NATO was spot on when they dispatched troops in Central Europe. Since annexing Crimea has proved to be such a chore, Putin and his minions are now looking for other territories to usurp.
 
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This is nothing new for Russia. The Russians love the provocations and are just looking for a reason to start a war. They should be ignored unless they pose a direct threat and then they can be shot down. They have been flying over the UK airspace with bombers for a while now.
 
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Funny thing, I believe Russia's just grasping at straws like a little kid. An attention seeker, in popular terms. This is why I hate them. They isolate themselves under a faux guise of "victim" rather than "oppressor" and they usually stay at it for a few years before they start attacking. I've become so accustomed to their tactics. They should probably just stop already, they are making a fool of themselves. Little kids... haha
 

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