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11:17 17 November
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Russian Su-27 warns off NATO F-16 trying to approach defense minister’s plane over Baltic


A NATO F-16 fighter jet has tried to approach the Russian defense minister’s plane above the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. The plane was warded off by a Russian Su-27 escorting the minister’s aircraft, according to journalists who were on board, Russia Today reported.


Russian plane was en route to the city of Kaliningrad, a western Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, where Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu is scheduled to discuss security issues with defense officials on Wednesday.


While one NATO aircraft tried to approach the Russian airplane, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet got in its way and tilted its wings, apparently showing its arms, according to RIA Novosti and TASS journalists who were on board. The F-16 then flew away.


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he has no information about the incident.


“It’s probably better to ask the Defense Ministry,” Peskov said in answer to journalists’ questions.


On Monday a US RC-135 spy plane flying toward the Russian border made a “provocative turn” toward a Baltic Fleet Su-27, which had been scrambled for an interception mission.


The encounters of Russian and US warplanes over the Baltic Sea waters have apparently become more frequent lately. A Russian fighter jet intercepted a small group of US warplanes, including Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker military refueling aircraft, two B-1 bombers and one B-52, during the BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) annual training exercise on June 10.


Earlier in June, the Russian military intercepted another B-52 bomber in the same area, and escorted by an Su-27 fighter away from Russian territory.

 

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