EUCOM releases photos of close encounter between Russian jet, Air Force plane

EUCOM releases photos of close encounter between Russian jet, Air Force plane

EUCOM releases photos of close encounter between Russian jet, Air Force plane

A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation F-16 fighter jet tried to intercept the plane of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the Baltic Sea Wednesday, according to Russian state media.

Shoigu was reported to be en route to the Russian exclave ofKaliningrad for a meeting to discuss how well Russia's western flank was defended.

On June 21, Russia accused a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation F-16 fighter aircraft of making an attempt to approach a Russian plane carrying Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over neutral Baltic waters.

A Russian jet flew within 5 feet (1.5 meters) of a US reconnaissance plane's wing tip over the Baltic Sea on Monday, US officials say. On May 12, the ministry said Moscow scrambled an Su-30 fighter plane on May 9 over the Black Sea to intercept a US reconnaissance aircraft.

The NATO jet closed in and began flying parallel to Shoigu's plane, video shot on board and released by the Defense Ministry's Zvezda news agency showed.

The U.S. has reported similar 35 interactions with Russian aircraft in the past month.

At least 10 dead as two powerful explosions strike Parachinar
Pakistani officials, however, have played down the presence of the Islamic State, also referred to as I.S., in the country. Some of the seriously wounded were airlifted to Peshwar, the largest city in Pakistan's northwest region, the army said.

The images also confirm that the Russian jet was armed.

Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist slammed Russian Federation as "unprofessional" and urged Moscow to avoid incidents like this again.

Sergei Shoigu, speaking on a trip to Russia's westernmost Kaliningrad region, pointed at NATO's exercise in the Baltics as an example of the alliance's growing presence in the area. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said it was following standard intercept procedures. A second RC-135U had to be intercepted just ten minutes after the incident featured in the latest photos, the ministry said. The F-16 then distanced itself from the Russian planes.

"It is related to the growing military activity of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries in Eastern Europe", Shoigu said. "This is an exception, not the norm, but we were again operating in global airspace and did nothing to provoke", said Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis.

"If the Russians seek an end to these sanctions, they know very well the USA position: Our sanctions on Russia related [to] Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine will remain in place until Russia fully honors its obligations under the Minsk Agreements".

Related news