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Russian jets force NATO’s F-18 away from Shoigu’s plane over Baltic Sea

NATO jets approached Russian aircraft to identify it, according to a NATO official
Sukhoi-27 fighter Marina Lystseva/TASS
Sukhoi-27 fighter
© Marina Lystseva/TASS

MOSCOW, August 13. /TASS/. NATO’s F-18 jet tried to approach the plane of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the international waters of the Baltic Sea only to be forced away by Russia’s Sukhoi-27 fighters, a TASS correspondent reported from onboard the Russian defense minister’s plane.

Shoigu’s plane was on the way from Kaliningrad to Moscow with an escort of two Sukhoi-27s of the Baltic Fleet. NATO’s F-18 tried to approach it over the international waters of the Baltic Sea but Russian fighters forced the jet away.

In Kaliningrad, Shoigu attended a stone-laying ceremony for a future branch of the Nakhimov Naval Academy and the Seaborne Assault competition at the Khmelevka proving ground.

NATO's explanation

NATO jets approached the plane of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu over the Baltic Sea on Tuesday to identify the aircraft, a NATO official told TASS on Tuesday.

"A Russian aircraft, escorted by at least one Russian fighter jet, was tracked over the Baltic Sea earlier today," the official said. "Jets from NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission scrambled to identify the aircraft which flew close to Allied airspace. Once identification of the aircraft had taken place, the NATO jets returned to base," the NATO official noted.

"NATO has no information as to who was on board," the latter added.