The squadron took off from the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and took an aggressive route through Polish skies before flying over the Baltic Sea towards Sweden, the dailymail.co.uk website reported.
NATO jets respond
In response, four Eurofighter Typhoon jets from the Italian air force were dispatched to intercept the offending Russian fighter planes, according to the biznesalert.pl website.
Italian planes are stationed at Poland’s Malbork Air Base as part of NATO's air policing mission, the Polish website reported.
The four Italian jets intercepted the Russian aircraft and forced them to return back to Kaliningrad, according to dailymail.co.uk.
Italy’s air force, Aeronautica Militare, announced the incident on Twitter.
Aeronautica Militare said Russian aircraft also infringed on Swedish airspace, although this claim was later denied by the Swedish Armed Forces, dailymail.co.uk reported.
NATO jets ‘regularly intercept Russian military aircraft’
Meanwhile, Matthias Eichenlaub, a NATO press officer, confirmed to Newsweek magazine that Italy has jets assigned to the pact’s air policing mission in the Baltic region.
The official added that NATO planes in the area "regularly intercept Russian military aircraft that don't follow international air safety rules."
For instance, NATO jets had to intervene on September 30, when a Russian aircraft flew dangerously close to the Polish border, biznesalert.pl reported.
Russia’s Kaliningrad region is sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. The exclave features the Chkalovsk naval air base, home to the Russian Baltic Fleet’s aircraft division, “which has been constantly strengthened in recent years,” according to biznesalert.pl.
The latest aerial confrontation comes amid continuing tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine, as Kyiv pushes on with its successful counteroffensive against the Kremlin’s invading forces, news outlets reported.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened to use nuclear force if his country had to defend itself against attack, Newsweek noted.
Thursday is day 225 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: biznesalert.pl, dailymail.co.uk, newsweek.com