Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Russian, NATO Jets In Near Standoff After F-16 Buzzes Russian Defense Minister's Airplane

A day after a Russian fighter allegedly flew within 5 feet of a US reconnaissance plane traveling over the Baltic Sea, Reuters reports that a NATO F-16 fighter jet returned the favor when it tried to improperly approach a plane carrying the Russian defense minister. The plane was traveling to the city of Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave along the Baltic coast, where Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu was scheduled to discuss security issues with defense officials on Wednesday. The NATO aircraft was warded off by a Russian Su-27 jet, according to RT.

In an accounting of the incident, Reuters notes that one of the Russian fighter jets escorting Shoigu's plane had inserted itself between the defense minister's plane and the NATO fighter and "tilted its wings from side to side to show the weapons it was carrying, Russian agencies said." After that the F-16 promptly left the area.

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.

The latest provocative maneuver represents yet another escalation of tensions between the US and Russia. On Monday, Russia suspended cooperation with...Read More HERE

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