MOSCOW, September 17. /TASS/. Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers performing a flight over the Baltic Sea were escorted by fighter jets of five countries at certain sections, the Russian defense ministry said on Tuesday.
According to the ministry, the Russian bombers performed a seven-hour scheduled flight over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea.
"At certain sections of the rout, the Russian long-range aircraft were escorted by F-16 fighter jets of the Belgian, Danish and Polish air forces, Finnish F-18 fighter jets, and Swedish JAS-39 Grispen warplanes," the ministry said.
By now, the Russian bombers have returned to their home base, the ministry added.
Belgium’s air force said earlier that it had scrambled two fighter jets on Tuesday to escort Russian Tu-160 and Su-27 aircraft.
Russia’s defense ministry has repeatedly stressed that Russian warplanes fly over neutral waters in strict compliance with international rules of the use of airspace.