NATO, Russia Agree on Transponders Use on Flights Over Baltics

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Russia and NATO have had certain success in resolving disagreements over the use of transponders during military flights over the Baltic Sea, Russian envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said.

“Have you heard anything about transponders over the past month? Nobody hears anything anymore because agreements allowing partial settlement of these problems have been achieved within the framework of this group,” Grushko said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television channel.

Grushko added that Russia and NATO hold dialogue on the issue of preventing dangerous air and maritime incidents, exchange briefings on drills and the work done by the project group, operating under the aegis of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on resolving the problem of transponders gives hope for real progress.

According to Grushko, the Russia-NATO Council will gather on March 3 to discuss additional measures to ensure dialogue between military and civil experts to resolve the problem related to the inconsistencies in procedures, regulating civil and military aviation.

NATO has repeatedly accused Russia of alleged violation of the airspace over the Baltic Sea, which prompted Moscow to made proposal in July 2016 to ensure air safety in the Baltic region through various means, including flights with transponders turned on.

Flight transponders are used in aviation to identify planes from the ground.