Russian DM Plane Escorted by Su-27s Trailed by NATO Typhoon Jets over Baltic

Russian DM Plane Escorted by Su-27s Trailed by NATO Typhoon Jets over Baltic
Tue Mar 29, 2016 13:29:00

A plane carrying the Russian defense minister has been chased by NATO fighter jets over the neutral waters in the Baltic Sea, amid the Western military alliance’s growing build-up on Russia’s borders.

Russian media reports said that NATO’s Eurofighter Typhoons kept a distance of two kilometers (1.2 Miles) from Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu’s plane, which was en route to the western Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and escorted by several Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets, for an unspecified duration.

On Monday, the Russian defense minister arrived in Kaliningrad, located between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, to oversee the reconstruction of the Chkalovsk Military Airfield outside the city.

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu (R)

Shoygu had on Friday vowed Moscow’s response to NATO’s military build-up in Europe, especially on its eastern frontier with Russia. He said the country’s countermeasures would include forming new military divisions and improving the combat composition of the troops in the country’s Western Military District -- one of the army's four operational strategic commands headquartered in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg. The district neighbors the strategic Baltic region, where the 28-member military alliance has been pushing ahead with reinforcing its military presence in the three former Soviet states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The US-led military alliance has been deploying troops and equipment close to Russia’s borders since it suspended all ties with Moscow in April 2014 after Crimea integrated into the Russian Federation following a referendum the month before.

The United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a number of sanctions against Russian and pro-Russia figures. Moscow, however, rejects having a hand in the Ukrainian crisis.

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