Russia scrambled Su-27 fighter jets to intercept three French military planes on Wednesday as they approached the Russian border over the Black Sea, the defense ministry in Moscow said.
The ministry said in a statement that it dispatched two Su-27s to check out the two French Mirage-2000 fighter jets and a KC-135 refueling plane, after they were detected “over the neutral waters of the Black Sea” on approach to Russia’s border.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app
The ministry said the Russian jets escorted the French aircraft over the Black Sea “in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.”
The French planes turned back from the border and the Russian fighters returned to base, it said.
“Violations of the state border of the Russian Federation were not allowed,” it added.
Tensions between Russia and the West have hit their highest point since the Cold War in the years since Moscow in 2014 annexed the Crimean peninsula on the Black Sea from Ukraine.
Russia and Western countries routinely intercept each other’s fighter jets near their borders.
Moscow last intercepted French fighter jets over the Black Sea in October last year.
In May 2019, US fighters intercepted six Russian military aircraft in international airspace west of Alaska.
- France urges Germany to scrap Russia gas pipeline project over Navalny detention
- Profiles linked to France, Russia waged Africa disinformation campaign: Facebook
- Russia's Putin defends Armenia-Azerbaijan deal after France's criticism
- France, Germany threaten EU sanctions if no answers given by Russia on Navalny
- France, Russia to increase joint efforts against terrorism after teacher decapitated
- Russia deployment of S-300 in Syria risks military escalation - France