FOUR RUSSIAN warplanes have been intercepted after they flew into Nato airspace as tensions continue to rage between Vladimir Putin and the West.
Italian Air Force fighter planes were scrambling after Putin's jets were detected straying into airspace belonging to Poland and Sweden from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
Rome sent four Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Poland as part of a Nato air policing mission back in July – with the warplanes stationed at Malbork Air Base.
Nato and Russia remain at loggerheads over Putin's war in Ukraine – with Moscow continuously raising the spectre of a wider conflict if the West continues to help Ukraine.
In a statement the Aeronautica Militare – the Italian Air Force – explained the fighter jets took off from Kaliningrad before infringing on Polish airspace.
Putin's planes then flew across the Baltic Sea towards Sweden before being "forced" to return to base.
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Poland is a long time member of the alliance, while Sweden only this year signed protocols to join in response to Putin's vicious war in Ukraine.
Kaliningrad is a heavily militarised piece of territory cut off from the main Russian state and surrounded by Poland and Lithuania.
It is often at the centre of tensions between Putin and Nato – with Moscow earlier this year threatening to deploy nukes to the enclave.
"#Scramble, another immediate take-off for the #ItalianAirForce #Eurofighters engaged in Air Policing activities in Poland to intercept 4 Russian fighters after they had entered first Polish then Swedish airspace, before being forced to return to Kaliningrad airspace," the Italian Air Force posted on Twitter.
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Exactly what type of Russian planes were intercepted has not been confirmed yet by Nato.
But earlier this year Putin's state media claimed MiG-31E warplanes armed with Dagger hypersonic missiles had been sent to Kaliningrad.
EuroFighter Typhoons – known as F-2000As by the Italians – are a widely used fighter plane in service with Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain and Austria.
It is an air superiority fighter which was developed as part of a project headed by Nato.
The planes can fly at supersonic speeds of up to 1,550mph.
And they can be armed with up six bombs and six missiles along with a 27mm cannon.
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