Russian Jets Escort American Bombers Over Black Sea After US Defense Secretary Slams Kremlin For Destabilisation
This is the moment two Russian fighter jets escort a pair of US strategic bombers over the Black Sea and away from Russian territory one day after the US Secretary of Defense slammed the Kremlin for “destabilising activities” in the region.
The Russian ministry of defence said in a statement released today, 20th October, that two Russian Su-30 fighters from the Black Sea Fleet Air Defence and Naval Aviation Duty Force escorted two US Air Force B-1B supersonic strategic bombers over the Black Sea.
Part of the escort operation is seen in the footage released by the ministry showing the Russian fighter jet guiding the US bomber away from the Russian mainland.
According to the statement, the escort was carried out in full accordance with intentional law and was initiated because US bombers were approaching Russian air space.
According to the ministry: “Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as two US Air Force supersonic strategic B-1B bombers, accompanied by two KC-135 refuelling planes, and escorted them over the waters of the Black Sea.
“After the foreign warplanes had been turned away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighters safely returned to their home airbase.”
The incident came just one day after Lloyd Austin visited Ukraine and made several critical comments about Russia’s “destabilising activities” in the Black Sea.
Austin’s visit focused on major regional issues such as the Russian occupation of Crimea, the alleged militarisation of its eastern border with Ukraine, and the Kremlin’s movements in the Black Sea.
He said: “So we again call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea, to stop perpetuating the war in eastern Ukraine, to end its destabilising activities in the Black Sea and along Ukraine’s borders, and to halt its persistent cyber-attacks and other malign activities against the United States and our allies and partners.”
It is not currently clear why US bombers were flying towards the Russian mainland.
Tensions between the old Cold War enemies have been on the rise following a diplomatic spat that saw the Kremlin end its mission to NATO after it expelled eight Russian officials accused of spying.
The announcement was made on Monday, 18th October, by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who said: “If NATO members have any urgent matters, they can contact our ambassador in Belgium on these questions.”