Russia says jets scrambled to intercept two drones over Black Sea

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Moscow (AFP/APP):Russia said Tuesday that it dispatched two fighter jets to intercept two drones over the Black Sea, without specifying which countries had deployed them.

“To prevent a potential violation of Russia’s state border and to counter the UAVs conducting electronic reconnaissance, two Russian fighter jets were lifted,” the defence ministry said, identifying the drones as an MQ-9 Reaper and a Bayraktar TB2.

“The UAVs changed their flight direction and left the areas where aerial reconnaissance was being conducted” as a result of the manoeuvre, it added.

The Black Sea has seen renewed tensions since Russia exited a deal protecting exports from Ukraine ports in mid-July, with attacks escalating on both sides.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia said it destroyed two Ukrainian military boats in the area.

Incidents involving Russian and Western aircraft have also multiplied over the Black Sea and Baltic Sea in recent months.

Tensions grew between Moscow and Washington when a US Reaper drone crashed after colliding with a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea in mid-March.

Moscow said in May that it had intercepted four US strategic bombers above the Baltic Sea in two separate incidents in the space of one week.

Russia has also said it has intercepted French, German, Polish and British aircraft.

 

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