- NATO-Russian Aerial Intercepts Intensify Amid Escalation in Europe
The attempt by a NATO fighter aircraft to approach a Russian plane carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu became only the latest episode in a string of similar incidents as the alliance’s warplanes continue to test Russia’s defenses amid growing military escalation in Europe.
On June 21 a NATO F-16 fighter aircraft made an attempt to approach the plane carrying Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over neutral Baltic waters, but was promptly chased away by a Russian Su-27 warplane.
This incident, however, wasn’t a singular occurrence, to put it mildly, as only a day prior to that, on June 20, Russia scrambled its fighters to intercept a US Boeing RC-135 surveillance plane, and on June 6 Russian fighters intercepted a US B-52 strategic bomber which attempted to approach Russia’s borders; both intercepts also took place over the Baltic Sea.
It should be noted that while the Pentagon officials sought to gloss over the incident involving Shoigu’s plane, claiming that the NATO fighter was merely following standard procedure, they blasted the RC-135 intercept, branding the Russian pilot’s actions as unsafe, according to RT.