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Iran Press TV

Russian fighter jet intercepts US strategic bomber: Ministry

Iran Press TV

Tue Jun 6, 2017 12:21PM

Russia says one of its warplanes has intercepted an American bomber near the Russian airspace.

"The crew of the Russian Su-27, in approaching the aerial object at a safe distance, identified it as a US B-52 strategic bomber and escorted it," said the Russian Defense Ministry in a statement on Tuesday.

It went on to say that the snatch had occurred over the natural waters of the Baltic Sea as the bomber had been flying along the Russian border on Tuesday at 0700 GMT, adding that the fighter jet, which was part of the Russian Navy's Baltic Fleet air defense patrol, had headed back to its airfield nest following the operation.

According to the statement, Russia's air defense had dispatched the warplane on Tuesday morning after the detection of the huge bomber. The Su-27 then shadowed the American aircraft until it left the airspace, the ministry's statement added.

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range nuclear-capable, subsonic, jet-powered bomber, a number of which were deployed to Britain in support of joint exercises with NATO allies and partners due to be conducted across Europe this month.

The Russian Defense Ministry also said in a later statement that it had dispatched a MiG-31 fighter jet to intercept a Norwegian anti-submarine P-3 Orion aircraft, which had been flying along Russia's border over the Barents Sea. It added that the Norwegian patrolling plane had turned off its transponder during the flight.

The interceptions come amid Russia's increasing concerns over NATO's continued string of so-called training drills near the Russian border.

The military alliance is currently carrying out one of the largest exercises since January in Romania, along with another drill due to be conducted in Estonia.

NATO claims the mounting exercises are necessary to boost confidence among its member states in Eastern Europe and the Baltic region in the face of an alleged Russian "threat."

The Kremlin has repeatedly censured what it perceives as mounting anti-Russia hysteria and Russophobia in Europe and calls NATO's military buildup at its doorstep a threat to its national security.

Furthermore, Moscow accuses NATO of fearmongering to justify larger defense expenditure by its member states.

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