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German fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft near Latvian territorial waters for first time

Saturday, 2 March 2024, 08:40
German fighter jets intercept Russian aircraft near Latvian territorial waters for first time
Russian aircraft near Latvian territorial waters. Photo: Latvian Air Force

German fighter jets took off from the Latvian military base Lielvārde on 1 March to intercept Russian aircraft near Latvian territorial waters.

Source: Latvian Air Force, reported by European Pravda

Details: The Latvian Air Force wrote on Facebook that this is the first time that German Eurofighter jets from Lielvārde have undertaken such a mission.

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"NATO air policing is fully operational and Allies are able to respond immediately. Today, for the first time, German Eurofighter jets intercepted two Russian military aircraft near Latvian territorial waters," commented Latvian Defence Minister Andris Sprūds.

Background: It was reported earlier that on Saturday, 2 March, the Latvian National Armed Forces’  Lielvārde military airbase would host the opening ceremony of the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission.

For the next nine months, Latvia will take over the operation of NATO's Baltic Air Policing Mission as the airfield at Ämari Air Base in Estonia undergoes modernisation.

In 2023, aircraft belonging to NATO air forces in Europe were scrambled more than 300 times to intercept Russian military aircraft approaching Alliance airspace, with most interceptions taking place over the Baltic Sea.

After Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, NATO significantly reinforced its air defences on its eastern flank, including by increasing the number of fighter jets, surveillance aircraft and ground-based air defence systems.

Following repeated Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure located very close to the NATO border, the Allies deployed additional fighter jets to Romania.

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