Russia hijacks Lithuanian boat, violates Swedish airspace

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Vladimir Putin cranked his provocations against neighboring states up another notch Friday when Russian border guards seized a Lithuanian fishing boat from international waters while the Swedish Foreign Ministry protested a "serious violation" of its airspace by Russian bombers on Wednesday.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said via Twitter that Russia's ambassador had been summoned as a result of the seizure of the Lithuanian boat and its crew:

Indeed it was a busy day for Russian ambassadors as Sweden also demanded an explanation for a violation of its airspace by two Russian bombers on Wednesday - the latest in a series of violations that experts believe bear the hallmarks of trial bombing runs.

"A serious violation of Swedish territory took place on Wednesday 17 September 2014 when two Russian combat aircraft entered and exited Swedish airspace south of Öland. Russia has thereby violated the Ordinance concerning the Admission to Swedish Territory of Foreign State Vessels and State Aircraft," a statement said.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt confirmed the demand via Twitter:

On Thursday, NATO planes based in Lithuania scrambled to intercept two more Russian bombers detected close to Latvian airspace.

The latest border-related provocations come just two weeks after Russia's security serviced kidnapped one of their Estonian counterparts from Estonian territory on September 5 - an action clearly designed to send a signal, coming as it did less than 48 hours after US President Barack Obama had visited Estonia and guaranteed the security of the Baltic states. 

According to unofficial sources, LSM understands the Russian ambassador to Estonia has been summoned in connection with the incident four times - and has failed to show up on each occasion.

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