"On 4 September, Russian airspace control devices detected an air target approaching the Russian state border over the neutral waters of the Barents Sea. To identify the air target and prevent violation of the Russian state border, a MiG-31 fighter from the Northern Fleet's air defence duty was scrambled", the statement says.
The crew of the Russian fighter identified the air target as the Royal Norwegian Air Force's basic patrol aircraft, P-3C Orion.
"After the Norwegian aircraft turned away from the Russian state border, the Russian fighter returned safely to the home base. The entire flight of the Russian fighter MiG-31 was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace," the statement says.
The Norwegian aircraft was not allowed to violate the Russian state border, it added.
NATO reconnaissance aircraft have of late been approaching Russia’s borders with increasingly frequently, with more than a dozen such incidents reported in August alone.