A Russian fighter plane escorted a US reconnaissance aircraft across the Pacific, the Russian Defense Ministry announced on Friday – as tensions between Moscow and Washington increased.
Tass, a Russian news agency, reported that ministerial officials had spotted a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific along the southeast coast of the 777-mile-long Kamchatka Peninsula on Russia’s far-eastern border.
“A MiG-31 fighter aircraft was unwound from an airfield in the Kamchatka region to identify and escort the aircraft,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement. “The crew identified it as an American RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft.”
The Russian fighter jet then returned to its home airfield after turning the U.S. plane away from the Russian border, Tass reported.
A Russian MiG-31 fighter is reportedly escorting the US Air Force’s RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft across the Pacific.Ministry of Defense
“The Defense Ministry said that the flight of the Russian fighter plane was conducted in strict compliance with international regulations on the use of airspace,” the outlet added.
A 28-second clip posted on Twitter early Friday allegedly shows the Russian jet escorting the US plane.
President Biden put the idea of a personal summit with Vladimir Putin into practice.Eric BARADAT and Alexey NIKOLSKY / AFP; Sputnik / AFP via Getty Images
Meanwhile, the US Department of Defense is investigating the encounter, Fox News reported on Friday.
The airborne encounter takes place just one day after the Biden government imposed new sanctions on several Russian officials and companies and 10 Russian diplomats were expelled.
The sweeping measures are set to punish Russia for the SolarWinds hack by federal agencies and the country’s efforts to meddle in US elections that Russia has denied.
Russian MiG-31 fighter planes fly over Moscow, Russia.REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin
In a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, President Biden also launched the idea of a personal summit in the coming months.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, warned of “inevitable” retaliation, claiming “Washington should recognize that it must pay the price of dismantling bilateral ties.”
Russia has warned the US to stay away from the Black Sea “for its own good”. REUTERS / Murad Sezer
Russia also warned the US on Tuesday to stay away from the Black Sea “for their own good” after the Biden government announced it would be sending two destroyers to the region in response to Moscow’s increased military presence near Ukraine.
With postal wires