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NATO-Russia Council To Focus On Flight Incidents Over The Baltic Sea

A Russian SU-27 Flanker fighter plane photographed from a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance jet over the Baltic Sea

A meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on July 13 is expected to focus on measures to reduce tensions and risks after recent incidents involving maneuvering by warplanes flying over the Baltic Sea.

At the meeting in Brussels, NATO officials said they will press for Russian pilots to file flight plans, respond to air traffic control, or identify themselves with cockpit transmitters, when flying in the Baltic area.

NATO said last month it tracked three Russian aircraft over the sea, including two jets which it said did not respond to air traffic control or requests to identify themselves.

Moscow maintains that all Russian flights over the Baltic comply with international law.

For its part, Russia said it scrambled a jet last month to intercept a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bomber it said was flying over the Baltic, in an incident that had echoes of the Cold War.

The NATO-Russia Council is seen as a forum for preventing such tensions from escalating.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS