Alwaght- The Russian Defense Ministry said one of its warplane has intercepted two US B-52 strategic bombers as they were approaching the country's airspace over the Baltic Sea.
The ministry’s National Defense Management Center said in a statement on Friday that a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet had been scrambled to intercept the pair of US aircraft earlier in the day after the Russian air defense detected them on radar over the Baltic Sea.
“A Su-27 fighter from the Baltic Fleet’s air defense quick reaction alert forces was scrambled to intercept the targets. The crew of the Russian fighter approached the aerial targets at a safe distance, identified them as US Air Force B-52H bombers, and escorted them over the Baltic Sea,” said the statement, carried by the TASS news agency.
It further noted that the Russian border was not violated by the American bombers, adding that the Russian warplane returned safely to its airbase after warding off the intruders.
“The entire flights of the Russian fighters proceeded in strict compliance with the international rules of using the airspace,” the center stressed.
Separately on Friday, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov that the US and other NATO nations have been conducting military activities some 20-30 kilometers of the Russian border.
American bombers and spy planes, as well as NATO aircraft, have frequently been detected near Russia’s western borders.
On September 18, the Russian military’s official newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda reported that 44 jets had been engaged in reconnaissance activities close to Russia’s airspace in one week.
A weekly infographic published by the same outlet further also showed that Russian warplanes had been scrambled five times to intercept foreign aircraft within the period.
The provocative flights have particularly increased in frequency since 2014, when the then-Ukrainian territory of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to fall under Russian sovereignty and when a military conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the soaring activities of the US-led NATO forces near its western borders.