NATO Air Police on high alert after Russian fighter jet approaches Polish aircraft

Russian fighter jet approached Polish Border Guard aircraft over the Black Sea, adding to existing tensions in the region.

NATO Air Policing troops have been put on high alert after a Russian fighter jet approached a Polish Border Guard aircraft over the Black Sea, the Polish press agency PAP reported on Tuesday. The Polish crew reportedly lost control of the aircraft for a moment but landed safely, said Polish Border Guard spokeswoman​​​​​​​ Anna Michalska. The plane landed safely at Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport and none of the crew members on board were injured as a result of the incident, she said. The Turbolet L-410 aircraft belonging to the Border Guard was intercepted. Citing a statement from NATO Headquarters, PAP reported that the aircraft was approached three times on Friday by a Russian fighter jet, which “performed aggressive and dangerous manoeuvrers.”

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The plane, in cooperation with the Romanian services, was performing routine patrol missions under the auspices of Frontex over the Black Sea in international airspace. The incident occurred around 13:20 (1020GMT), 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Romanian airspace. NATO Air Policing troops have been put on a heightened state of alert and “remain vigilant.” The Ministry of National Defense of Romania reported that the “aggressive and dangerous maneuvers” repeatedly performed by the fighters of the Russian Federation in the vicinity of the Polish aircraft caused high turbulence and difficulties in controlling the machine.

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Two combat aircraft of the Romanian Air Force and two of the Spanish Air Force, operating under the Air Police Combat Service, were alerted by the NATO Combined Air Operations Center in Torrejon. They were ready to intervene at any time, but it turned out that there was no need. Poland, Spain, and Sweden are also participating in an operation to prevent illegal migration, illegal fishing, marine pollution, and other types of cross-border crime in the Black Sea region. Operation Western Black Sea MMO has been conducted annually since 2019. Michalska said decisions will be taken after the incident is examined.

Source: AA

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