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Russia Says US Spy Planes Threaten Civil Aviation Near Its Borders

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

Russia is lodging official diplomatic protest over what it says is the increased and unsafe presence of US spy planes over the Black Sea, as they threaten civilian aviation. 

“Increased U.S. and NATO warplanes activity near Russian borders creates risks of dangerous incidents for civilian aviation,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a written statement Sunday. The condemnation came two days after Russia’s aviation authority said an Israel to Moscow passenger jet had to suddenly drop altitude to avoid potential collision with a US spy plane that was coming dangerously close.


US Air Force image

“If this time a catastrophe over the Black sea was avoided, this doesn’t mean U.S. and NATO could risk people’s lives in the future without punishment,” Zakharova added. 

Russia’s military later released video of its fighter jets intercepting what appears to be a US spy plane, such as has been seen in many other similar encounters over the Black Sea. Media reports further described the incident as due to the spy plane’s “chaotic” and “dangerous” tactics. 

But now amid the fresh condemnation of the incident, Russia is saying it was actually two airliners which had to drastically alter their flight paths due to the US aircraft

“According to Russia’s civil aviation agency, two passenger planes had to divert and change altitude because a NATO surveillance plane crossed their routes and ignored signals from Russian air safety authorities,” Bloomberg details of the statement. ”One flight was Aeroflot from Tel Aviv to Moscow and the other was a Maltese aircraft flying from the Black Sea resort of Sochi to North Macedonia.”

Zakharova stressed that Russian air traffic services issued repeat to the reconnaissance plane, but the warnings went unheeded and unanswered. That day two US aircraft were being monitored near Russia’s airspace.

Russia’s defense ministry (MoD) earlier said Su-27 and Su-30 fighters were scrambled to escort the US spy planes away from coming near Russian airspace. The US aircraft were identified in the MoD statement as a Boeing RC-135V Rivet Joint and a Bombardier CL-600 Artemis, according to Russian media reports.

Some outlets initially claimed the spy plane and civilian plane came to within 20 meters of one another, but official sources did not confirm these reports. Reuters in its reporting noted that the ”incident happened on Friday when a spy plane crossed a civilian flight path.”


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