A Russian MiG-31 fighter jet was scrambled to escort a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Pacific Ocean along the southeastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
As Tass news agency reported, according to the Russian Ministry of Defence, Russian airspace control systems detected an aerial target flying over the Pacific Ocean towards Russia’s border.
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“A MiG-31 fighter jet was scrambled from an airfield in the Kamchatka region to identify and escort the plane. The crew identified it as a US RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft,” the statement said, adding that the plane had been prevented from violating the Russian border.
The Defense Ministry said that the Russian fighter jet’s flight was carried out in strict compliance with international rules for the use of airspace. The plane safely returned to its home airfield after turning the US aircraft from the Russian border.
The “cold war” climate in Russia-US relations has intensified in recent hours, following the decision of the US government to impose new sanctions against Moscow.
On Thursday, Biden signed a presidential decree allowing a series of economic sanctions against Moscow and the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats.
The sanctions were imposed in response to purported cyberattacks and interference in the US presidential election in 2020, actions attributed by Washington, directly, to Moscow.
Moscow’s first reaction was to summon US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan to the Russian Foreign Ministry followed by the expulsion of 10 US diplomats from Russia.