RussiaThe Defense Ministry scrambled a fighter jet on Monday after it said it detected French and German patrol planes flying into Russian airspace, the ministry said in a statement.
France and Germany said its planes – a French Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft and a German P-3C Orion – were conducting regular flights as part of a NATO exercise and behave in accordance with international law.
Russia said its Su-27 jet returned to base after the French and German turned away from Russia, the defense ministry said, adding that it had scrambled the jet to “prevent violation of the Russian state border.”
Putin claims that NATO wants to see Russia dissolved
A German navy spokesman said: “Our P-3C Orion was on a surveillance mission over the Baltic Sea and flew, as per standard, towards Kaliningrad”, a Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.
“There was never any intention to enter Russian airspace, these aircraft always maintain a safe distance. These flights are routine, and we are not doing anything to cause a provocation.”
France’s armed forces also confirmed the incident in a statement.
“As part of a NATO exercise, a Russian Su-27 fighter jet interacted with an Atlantic 2 maritime patrol aircraft off the Baltic states today. The approach was conducted in international airspace over the Baltic Sea and was professional and controlled,” it said.
— Reporting by Moscow Newsroom, Sabine Siebold in Berlin and Marine Strauss in Paris; Editing by Alison Williams