Russia scrambled fighter jets to escort a US Air Force plane that reportedly approached Russian airspace over the Pacific Ocean., Russian news agency TASS reported on Sunday.
There were no violations of Russia’s state border during the episode, according to TASS.
Russia’s National Defense Command Center said “three Russian Sukhoi-35S fighters had been scrambled to escort a US strategic bomber B-52H, which approached Russia’s airspace.”
“The fighters’ crews identified the target as a strategic B-52H bomber of the US Air Force and escorted it over the Pacific Ocean. There were no violations of Russia’s state border or dangerous proximity of planes in the air.”
TASS added that the Russian fighter jets “strictly followed” international rules and returned to base after the US plane moved away from the Russian border.
The Pentagon is still to comment on the incident.
The incident marks the latest salvo in recent years between Russian aircraft and either US or NATO aircraft. In March, NATO scrambled fighter jets 10 times to track and intercept an unusually “rare peak” of Russian bombers and fighters flying over the North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea, a NATO official said at the time.
And in August 2020, two Russian aircraft made an “unsafe, unprofessional” intercept of a US Air Force B-52 bomber over the Black Sea and in international waters, causing turbulence to the B-52 that restricted its ability to maneuver.