Latvia again spots Russian military plane near its borders

10:39, 19 May 2015
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A Russian Il-72 military transport plane was spotted near the airspace of Latvia on Monday, May 18, the National Armed Forces of Latvia reported on Monday, according to Russian news agency TASS.

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"Today, patrol aircraft over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea near the outer sea border of Latvia identified an Il-72 plane of the Russian Air Force," the report reads.

According to the Ministry of Defense of Latvia, in 2014, Russian military aircraft and ships approached the borders of the Republic more than 250 times.

Russia has also sent bombers and fighter aircraft close to the airspace of several countries, and even into it for short times on some occasions. Estonia, Sweden and the UK have all reported incidents.

In one potentially catastrophic incident, a Danish airliner almost collided with a Russian military jet when the commercial aircraft was taking off from Copenhagen airport last December.

The Russian warplane was flying with its transponder switched off, effectively making it invisible to civilian air traffic control.

Russian military planes and warships have been particularly active in the Baltic region over the past year.

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