Russian jet 'came within several feet' of U.S. plane

The Su-27 fighters, flying on escort duty alongside a plane carrying Russian's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, chased the F-16 away as it tried to approach the high-ranking official's aircraft.

Not long after, a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet approaches the F-16 briefly before the F-16 directs itself away from the Russian aircraft and the Su-27 moves back to its formation.

The plane was warded off by a Russian Su-27 escorting the minister's aircraft, according to journalists who were on board, Russia Today reported.

The US plane was flying in global airspace when it was intercepted by the Russian jet, which was armed, an Air Force spokesperson told Business Insider.

"We assess the Russian pilots' behaviour as safe and professional", he said.

The incident occurred Monday morning as an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft flew in worldwide airspace above the Baltic Sea. Russian Federation went as far as to say it would consider USA aircraft in Syria west of the Euphrates river "targets" and pledged to track them with air defense systems. Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis accused the Russian pilot of flying too fast and having "poor control" over his jet.

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Russia state media quoted the Defense Ministry as saying that the Russian jet intercepted two U.S. RC-135s back-to-back, with one of them making a provocative turn towards the Russian plane.

In a similar episode, Sweden said on Wednesday it had called in Russia's ambassador for talks after a Russian fighter jet buzzed a Swedish military jet on an electronic intelligence gathering mission over the Baltic on Monday. "All our pilots behave in a safe and responsible way", North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said in the email.

In response, Russian Federation then suspended a pact used to prevent crashes with the US -led coalition in the skies over Syria and was threatening to target American jets.

Shoigu added that the large-scale drills reflect NATO's "anti-Russian course".

The growing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation presence in the Baltic and Eastern Europe demonstrates "blatant unwillingness" of certain Western states to stop "pursuing an anti-Russian agenda" and forces Moscow to beef up its border defenses, according to Russia's defense minister.

  • Myrtle Hill