The Russian Defence Ministry on Friday said that it scrambled a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter aircraft to intercept a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jet heading towards the Russian airspace over the Black Sea.

“A Su-27 fighter jet as part of the Southern Military District’s air defences was scrambled to intercept the target. The crew flew the aircraft at a safe distance to the aerial target and identified it as a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance jet, which immediately changed the direction of its flight to fly away from the Russian state border,” Sputnik quoted the ministry as saying.

The Russian flight was carried out in line with international rules and the fighter jet returned to its home base after completing the mission, the ministry added.

The United States is currently taking part in NATO’s Sea Breeze naval drills in the Black Sea. In response, Russia has kicked off its own “combat training exercises” in the water body.

Russian forces have spotted 26 foreign surveillance aircraft near its airspace over the past week, as per the Russian Armed Forces’ official newspaper, Krasnaya Zvezda. Russian military jets have been deployed thrice this week to block foreign aircraft from breaching the Russian airspace, the newspaper added

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