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Iran Press TV

UK jets scrambled to investigate Russia planes flying over Black Sea

Iran Press TV

Wed Aug 22, 2018 04:02PM

Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) scrambled two Typhoon jets from a base in Romania to shadow Russian fighter jets allegedly flying near NATO air space in the skies over the Black Sea.

The RAF said in a statement on Wednesday that the jets were sent from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta on the Black Sea coast late on Monday to respond to two Russian Su-30 Flanker aircraft that were heading southwest towards NATO airspace from Crimea.

It said the operation was in accordance with the NATO Enhanced Air Policing (eAP), a mission which claims to be countering Russia's increased military activity in Eastern Europe.

Encounters between Russian and British air forces have occurred in recent months, almost on a regular basis.

In late July, two Typhoon jets were scrambled from Kogalniceanu to stop a Russian aircraft that allegedly flew near NATO airspace, while there were similar incidents in May and January.

Four RAF Typhoons are now based in Kogalniceanu where several hundred US troops are operating. Washington, which leads the eAP, has also deployed four of its F-15C Eagles in neighboring Bulgaria.

Crimea, the peninsula on the Black Sea where Russian aircraft normally take off for their sorties in the region, has been at the heart of a row between Russia and NATO since it disintegrated from Ukraine and joined Russia four years ago.

Russia has repeatedly rejected NATO accusations about increased military activity in the region while it sees the NATO build up a threat to its own security.

Moscow has announced that it is ready to launch a dialogue with NATO countries to prevent dangerous military incidents in the region.

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