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Published: Sat, June 24, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

US releases photos of 'unsafe' Russian jet intercept

US releases photos of 'unsafe' Russian jet intercept

The Russian Defense Ministry claimed Tuesday that the RC-135 plane swerved dangerously near a Russian SU-27 fighter jet, according to the Reuters news agency which cited Russia's state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. "Once complete, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation jets break away", the official said.

A Russian Su-27 fighter accompanying Shoigu's plane then approached from behind and rocked its wings to show that it was armed.

The alliance said it had no information about who was on board the planes.

The video was recorded by journalists on the plane of the Russian Minister.

On Wednesday, June 21, Sweden summoned Russia's ambassador after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet approached a Swedish reconnaissance plane in worldwide airspace above the Baltic Sea to a distance which the Swedish Defense Ministry described as "extremely narrow".

Earlier this month, Russian Federation scrambled a fighter jet to intercept a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 strategic bomber it said was flying over the Baltic near its border, in an incident that had echoes of the Cold War.

The Russian Defense Ministry has not responded to requests for comment from CNN. The vast majority of these encounters have been safe and professional, the official added - a point that adds to the significance of Monday's incident.

Apparently referring to the same episode, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the USA aircraft "did nothing to provoke this behavior".

Moscow said its own flights are conducted "in strict compliance with worldwide regulations", complaining that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces have launched more than 15 spy plane flights "in the immediate vicinity of Russia's airspace in the previous week". "This is an exception, not the norm, but we were again operating in global airspace and did nothing to provoke", Davis said.

Those exercises have primarily taken place in the Baltic Sea, the Arctic and along Russia's border with several North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners.

The troops of the district have received over 300 pieces of combat vehicles and equipment over the past six months, and new military units are being deployed to bolster the defenses of Russia's western border.

The meeting came after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation held military exercises at the weekend in Poland on the Lithuanian border close to Kaliningrad. That area is seen by most experts as a likely Russian target in the event of a NATO-Russia military confrontation.

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