Tension in the Baltic Sea: Russia deployed a fighter plane due to the presence of two US bombers

A Russian SU-35 (REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov) (MAXIM SHEMETOV/)

The Russian Ministry of Defense reported that a fighter su-35 flew over the sea Baltic the monday after two strategic bombers Americans flew in the direction of the Russian border, but returned to the base after they drove off.

The event occurred after the March 14 A US drone crashed into the Black Sea after being intercepted by Russian aircraft, in what was the first known direct military encounter between Russia and the United States since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

“On March 20, the radar installations of the air defense forces of the Western Military District on duty over the Baltic Sea detected two air targets flying in the direction of the state border of the Russian Federation,” the ministry said in the app. Telegram messaging.

A US B52 next to two jets (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File) (Ahnn Young-joon/)

They were strategic bombers. B52H of the United States Air Force.

The ministry added that an Su-35 fighter took off to prevent a border violation, adding: “After the foreign military aircraft moved away from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian fighter returned to its base airfield”.

The ministry said the Su-35 flight strictly complied with international rules for the use of airspace. “No violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was allowed,” he stated.

Last week, the Pentagon released footage it said showed a Russian plane dropping fuel on a US Air Force surveillance drone and striking its propeller in international airspace over the Black Sea.

The recording, 42 seconds long, shows a su-27 Russian approaching the rear of the drone MQ-9 and releasing fuel in its wake. the Pentagon noted. Apparently, the maneuver sought to blind the optical instruments of the unmanned device and remove it from the area.

In a second approach, the same plane or another Russian fighter that had been following the MQ-9 hit its propeller and damaged one of its bladesaccording to Washington.

The US military said it abandoned the MQ-9 Reaper at sea on Tuesday after what it described as a reckless Russian intervention.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone (REUTERS/Janis Laizans)
An MQ-9 Reaper drone (REUTERS/Janis Laizans) (Janis Laizans/)

The video clip distributed by the Pentagon does not show what happened before or after the apparent fuel incident.

The US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austinand the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milleyspoke to their counterparts in Moscow about the destruction of the US drone after its encounter with Russian fighter jets.

The telephone conversations with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Army Chief General Valery Gerasimov were the first since October.

While interception attempts are not unusual, the incident, at the height of the war in Ukraine, raised concerns that it could bring Washington and Moscow closer to a direct conflict. And that senior military and defense officials spoke so soon after what happened underscores its seriousness.

Lloyd Austin (REUTERS)
Lloyd Austin (REUTERS) (POOL /)

In his report on the phone conversation with Austin, Shoigu accused the United States of provoking the incident by ignoring flight restrictions imposed by the Kremlin due to its military operations in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Moscow also blamed “the intensification of intelligence activities against the interests of the Russian Federation,” it added.

These US actions “represent an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea area,” said the ministry, which warned that the Kremlin “will respond with the same coin to all provocations.”

The MQ-9, with a wingspan of 20 meters (66 feet), features a ground control station and satellite equipment. It can carry ammunition, but Pentagon spokesman Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder would not say whether it was armed.

(With information from AP and Reuters)

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