Did Russian Su-24 Fighter Jets disrupt Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez’s briefing at a NATO base? According to reports, Sanchez’s address was cut short in the northern Lithuanian city of Siauliai on Thursday to allow the military to respond to a Russian jet over the Baltic Sea.
A video of the briefing on social media showed moments of confusion when Sanchez and Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda were rushed away from the runway to clear the way for a Eurofighter that was visible in the background.
Witnessed allied solidarity in action today. The press conference w/ ?? PM @sanchezcastejon at airbase of @NATO Baltic Air Police Mission was suddenly interrupted. ?? fighter jets alpha scrambled after the alarm of the infringed airspace.
Thank you ?? for our security #WeAreNATO pic.twitter.com/g4IlJ3Ow22
— Gitanas Nausėda (@GitanasNauseda) July 8, 2021
Spanish El Pais daily cited government sources as saying that NATO fighter jets were scrambled to communicate with at least one unidentified Russian aircraft. The press conference reportedly resumed 25 minutes later.
Russia has repeatedly denied violating the airspace of the Baltic states. The defense ministry says all flights adhere strictly to international rules.
Sanchez is on a three-day tour of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. He traveled to the Siauliai base on Thursday to greet Spanish troops stationed there as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.
WATCH: Spanish president Pedro Sanchez & other NATO members in Lithuania panic-interrupt conference due to Russian warplanes over Baltic Sea pic.twitter.com/ZP82akyqSS
— ASB News / MILITARY〽️ (@ASBMilitary) July 8, 2021
The Russian Defense Ministry said that Two Russian Su-24 bombers performed a planned flight over neutrals waters of the Baltic Sea on Thursday, and they did not enter the airspace of foreign countries,
“On July 8, two Su-24 aircraft of the Baltic Fleet naval aviation performed a scheduled training flight in the airspace over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea,” the ministry said, adding that the aircraft did not enter the airspace of other countries.