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MOSCOW, June 6. /TASS/. A Mikoyan MiG-31 fighter jet has intercepted a P-3C Orion anti-submarine warfare plane of the Norwegian Air Force over the Barents Sea near the Russian border, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Tuesday.
After the Russian fighter jet approached the Norwegian plane, staying at a safe distance, the P-3C Orion aircraft changed its course and flew away from the Russian borders, the ministry’s press office reported.
"At about 12:30 Moscow time on June 6, Russia’s aerospace monitoring means detected an aircraft over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea performing a flight along the state border of the Russian Federation with its transponder turned off. A MiG-31 fighter from the Northern Fleet’s alert air defense forces was scrambled to intercept the target," the Defense Ministry said.
"The interceptor plane’s crew approached the target at a safe distance and visually identified it as a P-3C Orion anti-submarine warfare patrol aircraft of the Norwegian Air Force. After the Norwegian plane changed its flight route and flew away from the border of the Russian Federation, the MiG-31 fighter jet returned to its basic aerodrome," the Defense Ministry said.
This is the second instance of the interception of a NATO plane by Russian fighter jets over the day. Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier on Tuesday that a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jet had intercepted and escorted a US B-52 bomber, which was flying along Russia’s border over the Baltic Sea.
"On June 6 Russia’s airspace monitoring means at 10:00 Moscow time identified an air target flying along Russia’s state border over the international waters of the Baltic Sea. A Su-27 fighter jet of the Baltic Sea Fleet’s air defense force was dispatched to intercept the target," the statement said.
"The crew of Russia’s Su-27 jet approached the aircraft, staying at a safe distance, identified it as a US strategic bomber B-52 and escorted it for some time," the Defense Ministry said.