The U.S. Air Force landed two of its most advanced jets in Lithuania for the first time on April 27 in a show of support for a region worried by Russian aggression in Ukraine.
NATO's Baltic members have been riled by acts by Russian warplanes in recent weeks, including one making "simulated attack passes" near a U.S. warship and another passing within 50 feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane.
The F-22 fighter jets, which previously visited Poland, Estonia, and Romania, were greeted by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
"Without singling out any neighbor, I would like to say that no one has any right to poke their noses into here," she said. "This is a demonstration that the United States is honoring its commitments and is ready to protect our region with all the most modern measures."
F-22s are almost impossible to detect on radar and are so advanced that the U.S. Congress has banned Lockheed Martin from selling them abroad.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a Swedish newspaper interview published on April 28 charged that Lithuania is the "most Russophobic country in the Baltic region."