Madrid: Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s briefing at a NATO base in the northern Lithuanian city of Siauliai was cut short 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.
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.