France says Russian forces threatened to shoot down aircraft patrolling the Black Sea

France says Russian forces threatened to shoot down aircraft patrolling the Black Sea
# 22 February 2024 14:06 (UTC +04:00)

Russian forces threatened to shoot down French flights patrolling last month in international airspace over the Black Sea, signals of increasingly aggressive behavior from Moscow as its invasion of Ukraine struggles to make headway, France’s defense minister said Thursday, APA reports citing The Washington Post.

The minister, Sébastien Lecornu, didn’t give specific details about the French flights or aircraft involved in the threatened shoot-down. But he said Russia is returning to a “particularly aggressive” posture reminiscent of the former Soviet Union’s behavior during the Cold War.

“A month ago, to give you a very concrete example, a Russian air traffic control system threatened to shoot down French aircraft in the Black Sea when we were in a free international zone where we patrol,” he said on RTL radio.

“The behavior of Russia in 2024 bears no relation to what we saw in 2022 and, obviously, before the aggression in Ukraine,” the minister said. “It is explained by the fact that Russia is in difficulty on the battlefield in Ukraine.”

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