Russian fighter plane reportedly escorts US spy plane over Pacific
A Russian fighter plane escorted a US reconnaissance plane over the Pacific Ocean, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Friday, as tensions between Moscow and Washington mount.
Tass, a Russian news agency, reported that ministry officials detected a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific along the southeast coast of the 777-mile Kamchatka Peninsula at the far eastern border of Russia.
“A MiG-31 fighter plane was dispatched from an airfield in the Kamchatka region to identify and escort the plane,” said the statement from the Russian Defense Ministry. “The crew identified it as an American RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.”
The Russian fighter jet then returned to its home airfield after diverting the US plane from the Russian border, Tass reported.
“The Defense Ministry said that the flight of the Russian fighter plane was carried out in strict compliance with international rules for the use of airspace,” the newspaper added.
A 28 second clip posted on twitter early Friday allegedly shows the Russian jet escorting the American plane.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense is investigating the meeting, Fox News reported on Friday.
The in-flight encounter comes just a day after the Biden administration imposed new sanctions on several Russian officials and companies, as well as the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats.
The sweeping measures are aimed at punishing Russia for SolarWinds’ hack into federal agencies and the country’s efforts to interfere in the US election, which Russia has denied.
In a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, President Biden also raised the idea of ââan in-person summit in the coming months.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, warned of “inevitable” retaliation, saying “Washington should realize that it will have to pay the price for deteriorating bilateral relations.”
Russia also warned the United States on Tuesday to stay away from the Black Sea “for its own sake” after the Biden administration said it planned to send two destroyers to the region in response to the reinforced military presence of Moscow near Ukraine.
With post wires