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Russia released footage of the tense moment when Russian fighter jets confronted American spy planes over the Black Sea. The Ministry of Defence in Russia published the video which shows P-8 Poseidon, RC-135 reconnaissance plane, and KC-135 Stratotanker aerial refuelling aircraft, escorted by a Russian Su-30. The Russian fighter jets were scrambled after Russian radar detected the spy plane near Russia’s borders.
This comes as US forces have recently boosted their activities near Russia’s borders and marks the second time in a month Russia has intercepted US spy planes in the Black Sea region, which is approximately 8,000 km from the US.
Russia has an extensive Black Sea coastline, running from Crimea to Sochi.
In recent days, an American bomber was spotted over the Baltic Sea, which was then followed a few days later by aircraft flying over the Sea of Okhotsk, escorted by Russian planes.
It is also the eighth military interaction between the two superpowers in the past one month.
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The latest incident ended after the US warplanes immediately diverted their route and didn’t approach the Russian border.
Moscow insisted afterwards that the Russian aircraft carried out its flight in accordance with international laws and regulations.
The Defence Ministry statement read: “On June 26, the units on duty of the Southern Military District’s air defence timely detected the actions of US Air Force’s reconnaissance aircraft over neutral waters of the Black Sea and a Russian fighter jet escorted them.
“A Su-30 fighter jet of the Black Sea Fleet’s maritime air group from the Southern Military District’s units on duty was scrambled to intercept the targets in midair.”
After completing the task, the Russian fighter returned safely to the home airfield.
The Ministry added that Russian radars were continuously tracking the flight route of the US spy planes at a considerable distance from the Russian borders.
In early June, Russia’s Su-27s intercepted a US B-52 while later on June 24 US planes intercepted Russian reconnaissance planes off the Alaskan coast.
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The Russian Su-30 is one of the military warplanes that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is concerned Russia will sell to Iran.
Mr Pompeo has demanded an extension of an international arms embargo on Tehran, which is due to expire in October.
This week he tweeted that Iran would be able to buy Russian and Chinese military aircraft if the embargo expires in October.
Mr Pompeo shared a graphic showing the ranges of the Russian Su-30 and Chinese J-10 fighters – which he described as “highly lethal” – claiming they could put Europe and Asia “in Iran’s crosshairs.”
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