During meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, participants a.o. discussed air safety issues in the Baltic region. Russian military aircraft flying in the area have previously caused concerns for the safety of civil air traffic in the area.
According to Reuters Russia’s ambassador Alexander Grushko stated after the meeting: “We are ready to fly with transponders…along certain flight trajectories.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the proposal but said that all jets under NATO command already flew with their transponders on. During the press conference he added: “I think it is important to understand that transponders of course is important, but it’s only one element in the broader picture related to air safety and risk reduction, because the basic thing is of course safe behaviour, is to fly in a safe and professional way, and we have seen some examples of unsafe activity in the air by Russian planes buzzing a US ship in the Baltic, flying close to NATO planes, so the first thing is of course to just address the behaviour of military aircraft in the Baltic Sea.”