"To identify the target, a Su-27SM fighter of the air defence forces of the Southern Military District was scrambled. The Russian fighter jet approached a safe distance to the aerial object and identified it as an aircraft of the Italian Navy Atlantic patrol aircraft," the centre said.
The authority added that after the U-turn of the Italian Navy aircraft from the Russian state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to the airfield.
"The entire flight of the Russian Su-27SM fighter took place strictly in accordance with international rules for the airspace use. Violations of the state border of the Russian Federation by the Italian plane were not allowed," it added.