18:21 Apr. 27, 2016
Two U.S. stealth fighters deployed amid Russia tensions
Two of the U.S. Air Force's most advanced fighter jets landed in Lithuania for the first time on Wednesday in a move designed to show support for a region worried by Russian military maneuvers.
The two U.S. fighters landed in Romania earlier this week and F-22s last year visited Poland and Estonia, all counties concerned about Russia's actions in Ukraine.
The jets spent 20 minutes making three low-flying passes with aerial acrobatics over Lithuania's Siauliai air base before landing to be met by President Dalia Grybauskaite.
"Without singling out any neighbour, I would like to say that no one has any right to poke their noses into here," Grybauskaite told reporters.
"This is a demonstration that the United States is honouring its commitments and is ready to protect our region," she added.
The Baltic States and Washington are concerned by a number of incidents involving Russian warplanes, which took place in the region in recent weeks. In one of such provocative maneuvers, Russian jets were making "simulated attack passes" near a U.S. warship and another case included passing within 50 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane.
F-22s, the newest U.S. fighter planes, are almost impossible to detect on radar and are so advanced that the U.S. Congress has banned Lockheed Martin from selling them abroad.
Reporting by REUTERS