Polish F-16s intercept Russian planes
PR dla Zagranicy
The F-16 fighter jets which yesterday intercepted the Russian defence minister’s plane over the Baltic Sea were Polish, Poland’s defence ministry has said, according to private radio station RMF FM.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A pair of Polish F-16 supersonic multirole jets were on a NATO patrol mission when they were informed of Russian planes near the borders of countries whose airspace they were guarding, the broadcaster said.
According to RMF FM, they intercepted Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu’s Tu-154 plane and its two armed Su-27 jet escorts.
According to Russian authorities, Shoigu was en-route to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, northeast of Poland, RMF FM reported.
A video believed to have been recorded by journalists on board Shoigu’s plane appears to show one of the Polish F-16s flying alongside the Tu-154 when an Su-27 came between them and tilted, showing off its air-to-air weapons. The F-16 then distanced itself from the Russian planes.
Russian media reported that the Polish F-16s were trying to escort Shoigu over neutral waters, RMF FM said.
According to the PAP news agency, a NATO source said that three Russian planes were being followed over the Baltic Sea. The source said the Russian planes broke procedure when they did not identify themselves or react to air traffic control, RMF FM reported.
The source said NATO did not know who was on board the Russian planes, which were flying safely and professionally, adding that the F-16s followed standard procedures, RMF FM reported. (vb/pk)