Europe

French fighter planes to help patrol over Baltics

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Four French fighter jets have arrived at an air base in northern Poland to enhance NATO's patrolling capabilities over the Baltic States at a time of increased tension in the region.

The spokesman for the air base in Malbork, Dariusz Mazurkiewicz, said Monday that some 100 ground personnel came with the Dassault Rafael jets for a four-month tour of duty, starting Wednesday. They will support Poland's four patrolling MiG-29 fighters within the NATO Baltic Air Policing program.

Warsaw is seeking NATO troop presence on its territory as tension mounts in the conflict between Poland's two neighbors: Ukraine and Russia. Poland's Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that French jets would also take part in a joint exercise in Poland. The date for the exercise has not been announced.

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