Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Close shave: Russian fighters drive NATO warplane away from defense chief's plane

Close shave: Russian fighters drive NATO warplane away from defense chief's plane

According to a Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RE/RFL) report, Russian news agency TASS said that a flight on Tuesday from the Kaliningrad exclave to Moscow, carrying defense minister Sergey Shoygu, was approached by a NATO McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, in worldwide airspace.

The TASS news agency on August 13 reported that Shoigu's plane was flying from Russia's Baltic Sea exclave of Kaliningrad to Moscow when the incident occurred over the Baltic Sea. A TASS reporter was reportedly on board the plane carrying Shoygu. The Russian jet carrying Shoigu is not the Tu-154 with registration RA-85686 we observed on previous Russia's MOD trips, but a Tu-204, based on the type of winglet exposed in the video.

It said a Spanish F-18 jet based in Lithuania had tried to approach Shoigu's plane, prompting one of two Russian SU-27 fighter jets accompanying him to see it off. NATO's F-18 tried to approach it over the global waters of the Baltic Sea but Russian fighters forced the jet away.

RFE/RL says a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation official confirmed that a Russian aircraft escorted by at least one fighter jet had been tracked over the Baltic on the same day.

Shoigu was travelling to the western Russian region of Kaliningrad, where he participated in the ceremony to lay the first stone for the construction there of a branch of the Nakhimovsky Naval Military School. "Jets from NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission scrambled to identify the aircraft which flew close to Allied airspace". It said the fighter crew had no knowledge of the passengers on board. Then please consider donating today to ensure that Eurasia Review can continue to be able to provide similar content.

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