Russian Jets Scrambled 7 Times to Chase Away Spy Planes – Defense Ministry

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Russian aircraft at Latakia airport - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia’s fighter jets were scrambled seven times in the past week to intercept foreign planes close to its borders, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.

Twenty-two aircraft were identified during that period, according to an infographic in the ministry-affiliated Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) newspaper. None of them trespassed.

The ministry has estimated that Russian planes were scrambled a total of 294 times last year to intercept and shadow foreign reconnaissance aircraft.

A U.S. RC-135U flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-27 Flanker June 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
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WATCH: Russian Jet Intercepts US Spy Plane Over Black Sea
At the same time, the number of air incidents involving Russian and NATO planes has increased since 2014 as a result of the growing presence of the US-led alliance's forces near Russia's western border following the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow has said Russia had never planned and does not plan to attack any NATO member.

READ MORE: UAE Files Complaint After Qatari Jets Allegedly Intercept Two Passenger Aircraft

The Russian Defense Ministry has repeatedly stated that the flights by Russia's Aerospace Forces are carried out in strict accordance with international regulations on the use of airspace over neutral waters after several states claimed that Russian aircraft had allegedly violated their aerial borders.

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