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NATO said it had tracked three Russian aircraft over the Baltic on Wednesday, including two fighter jets which it said did not respond to air traffic control or requests to identify themselves.
"As is standard practice whenever unknown aircraft approach NATO air space, NATO and national air forces took to the sky to monitor these flights," a NATO official said.
"When NATO aircraft intercept a plane they identify it visually, maintaining a safe distance at all times. Once complete, NATO jets break away," the official said.
Russian politicians called the episode the latest in a string of "provocations," a day after the Russian defense ministry said an RC-135 U.S. reconnaissance plane had swerved dangerously near a Russian fighter jet over the Baltic and that another RC-135 had been intercepted