Russia claims to have pushed off two US bombers just short of its own state border.
Both aircraft are said to have been in Baltic airspace.
Moscow/Washington – It is the second scandal between Russia and the USA within a short period of time: after the crash of a US reconnaissance drone over the Black Sea in mid-March put relations between Moscow and Washington to the test, Russia reported on Tuesday (21 . March) now a clash between Russian and American fighter jets.
Russia repels US bombers: USA enters “air surveillance zone”
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, two US planes departed for the Russian border on Monday morning.
The two bombers flew over the Baltic Sea.
As reported by
with reference to the Russian state news agency
, the Russian Defense Ministry's control center has identified the two US planes as B-52H strategic bombers.
Among other things, machines of this type are capable of transporting nuclear missiles and cruise missiles.
In response to the two oncoming planes, Russia dispatched a Su-35 fighter jet to "prevent US planes from violating the state border," according to the Russian Federation Defense Ministry.
The ministry added that the two US bombers were in a "designated air surveillance zone".
"After the foreign military aircraft departed from the state border of the Russian Federation, the Russian aircraft returned to its home base," the ministry said, adding that the Su-35 strictly complied with international aviation law.
There was no violation of the state border.
Russia reacts to provocation – USA remains silent on Baltic Sea incident
The clash of fighter jets is the first direct military contact between Russia and the US since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
The incident exacerbated the already strained relations between the two countries.
After a US drone was shot down over the Black Sea in mid-March, Moscow accused the US of ignoring flight restrictions imposed to protect Russian territory.
Experts see a “high risk of escalation” should such incidents become more frequent.
Amid rising tensions between Russia and US-led NATO, Russian air forces began a series of tactical training exercises on Tuesday morning (March 21).
According to the press service of the Baltic Fleet, ten aircraft began practicing bombing and missile attacks.
The US has announced that it will continue to operate flights in international airspace over the Black Sea.
The US government has not yet commented on the allegations related to the incident in Baltic airspace.