US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers flew over the North and Baltic Seas on Wednesday, escalating regional tensions with Russia.
According to US Air Forces in Europe, one of the bombers conducted a “low-fly” over Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. During the exercises, the US bombers were joined by fighter jets from Denmark, Poland, Germany, and Italy.
The US B-1Bs flew out of Norway, where they were recently stationed, marking the first US deployment of long-range bombers in the Scandinavian country. Besides the Baltic region, the bombers were deployed to Norway to conduct missions in the Arctic, another area where the US is looking to confront Russia.
The bomber flight came just a few days after the US wrapped up major military drills in the region. During these exercises, US F-15 fighter jets conducted mock missile launches in the Baltic Sea.
The Baltic Sea is home to the Russian military base in Kaliningrad. Russia’s Kaliningrad base is surrounded by NATO member-states, being wedged between Poland and Lithuania. Last year, the US established a permanent military presence in Poland.