F-18 NATO troops on Tuesday was accompanied by over neutral waters of the Baltic sea, two Russian MiG-31 military transport aircraft An-26. This was reported in Minoborony Russia. The Ministry said that the F-18 followed at the proper distance and the maneuvers did not threaten the security of the Russian pilots. However, not all flights of aircraft of the Alliance are so smooth. Experts say that NATO every year more and more aggressive behaves in the Baltic States — first and foremost against the Russian military aviation. About unwanted encounters in the skies and cold diplomacy on the ground at RT.
NATO fighter Tuesday, August 1, was accompanied by three Russian military side over the neutral waters of the Baltic sea, said the Ministry of defense of Russia.
“Today, two Russian MiG-31 fighter jet and a military transport plane An-26 made a planned training flight over neutral waters of the Baltic sea — said in a press release of the Ministry.
The defense Ministry stressed that the flight of a group of Russian aircraft were performed in strict accordance with international rules of airspace, without violating borders of other States. However, the group was accompanied by NATO fighters.
“During the flight the F-18 NATO about one minute approached and accompanied a group of Russian aircraft at a safe distance, then changed course and sailed towards the airspace of the Baltic States”, — reported in Department.
A similar incident occurred in late June, when NATO fighter F-16 over neutral waters of the Baltic sea we tried to approach the Russian plane with Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu on Board when it was flying to Kaliningrad. Between planes, however, then arose, accompanied the side of the head of the defense Ministry, the su-27, after which the aircraft of the Alliance ceased to support.
At the same time in the North Atlantic Alliance made a statement that NATO fighters intercepted three Russian aircraft over the Baltic sea.
“Two Spanish F-18 fighter jet participating in the NATO mission air policing had been raised from the Estonian Amari military base to intercept three Russian aircraft, which were identified as two MiG-31 fighter jet and a military transport aircraft An-26”, — TASS quoted the statement of the Alliance.
In the Ministry of defense of Finland, not a member of NATO, said that during the maneuvers the NATO aircraft violated the airspace of the country. In Helsinki, added that also sent a fighter jet to escort Russian aircraft.
“Two Spanish F-18 fighter allegedly violated the airspace of Finland on the morning of Tuesday, August 1. The incident took place over the Gulf of Finland to the South of the naval base Upinniemi around 9:00. Border service of Finland is investigating the circumstances of the incident”, — reported in the Finnish Ministry of defense.
It is noted that the meeting of the planes of Russia, Finland and NATO took place in international airspace without incident.
Military expert Alexei Leonov in an interview with RT, expressed his opinion that currently the Alliance is behaving quite unfriendly and literally with or without cause raises the aircraft. However, he noted that almost always the concept of “interception” is used to intimidate rather than to describe the real situation, since there is a significant difference between the intercept and escort of aircraft.
The expert suggested that during the incident when approaching aircraft radar station (radar) NATO fighter jets could be translated into military mode: “That is, they could irradiate our planes, as if aimed. It can also be called an interception. Most likely, it was done, once our defence is this was brought to attention.”
“It was probably a flight to or from the Kaliningrad region, or Vice versa in her. We can not now free to travel over the Baltic countries, so aircraft flying round through the Baltic sea,” said Lenkov.
He stressed that all stakeholders are aware of what aircraft and which is flying, because even when strategic bombers Tu-160 are Syria, Russia shall notify its international partners about where it will take them route.
An act of aggression or a standard behavior?
Military commentator Alexander Zhilin told RT that all that relates to the interaction of military aircraft in international waters, is described in international relations and documents. In particular, it stipulates that if the aircraft performs a combat training flight in international waters along the borders of the state, the fighters of this state have the right to accompany him until he is removed.
The expert noted that such support is in direct contact with the aircraft of a potential enemy, and “at any time can enter orders the destruction of this aircraft”.
“However, even if a strategic bomber for some reason breaks the border, the documents also spelled out the entire procedure. With him trying to get in touch, to carry out radio communication, and so on, because there may be different causes of the incident — from depressurization to equipment failure”, — said Zhilin.
Answering the question of why such mutual reports of interceptions of aircraft intensified in recent time, the expert noted that after the collapse of the Soviet Union for quite a long time NATO planes generally were not accompanied by over the territory of Russia.
“They carried intelligence, have violated our borders, doing what they wanted. We did not react at all. But over time, we began to put them in their place and restored the status quo, it annoys them,” says Zhilin.