Russia claims to have intercepted two NATO warplanes over the Baltic Sea, stating that their intention was to “violate” Russian airspace, Russia’s Defence Ministry announced on Monday.
The Russian air force claims that it scrambled one of its fighter jets to force the Western jets to turn around. “After the foreign military planes turned back… the Russian fighter returned safely to the airfield,” Russian officials announced on Telegram.
The NATO aircraft reportedly belonged to France and Germany.
Russia claims that it intercepted a turboprop P-3C Orion patrol aircraft belonging to the German Navy and an Atlantic surveillance plane from the French Navy. Russia later clarified that its border was not “violated” by the aircraft.
The Russian ministry claimed that the actions of its fighter jet were in “strict compliance with international rules for the use of airspace over neutral waters” and that it maintained a safe distance from the foreign aircraft.
Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, the number of aerial confrontations between NATO and Russian aircraft has sharply increased.
In May, a Polish aircraft on service with the EU’s external borders agency Frontex claimed to have been dangerously intercepted by Russian aircraft over the Black Sea.
One month prior, another Russian fighter jet intercepted a German navy plane seemingly approaching the Russian border in the Baltic Sea. In February, Russia fighters dumped jet fuel on a US Reaper drone over the Black Sea, forcing the UAV to fall into the water. Hailed as a victory by Russia, the incident significantly increased tensions between the two world powers.