The Russian defence ministry has published dramatic footage showing one of the two Su-27 fighters escorting an airliner carrying Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu peeling off and chasing away an F-18 with Spanish Air Force insignia after it approached to what appears to be just several hundred metres from the passenger jet.
The incident, which took place Tuesday, saw the Su-27 banking in the direction of the intruding F-18, prompting the NATO jet to fly away from the Russian jet before ascending up and away from both the Su-27 and the airliner.
Shoigu paid a visit to Kaliningrad to observe part of the Seaborne Assault military games, part of the Army Games-2019 competition. The defence minister is no stranger to NATO aircraft approaching his plane in the Baltic Sea, with a similar incident taking place in 2017.
The Spanish Air Force has not commented on Tuesday's incident. Spanish Air Force warplanes are known to take part in NATO’s so-called ‘Baltic Air Policing’ mission, aimed at protecting the airspace of the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.