MOSCOW – A Russian Su-27 fighter detected a US B-52H bomber in the Black Sea region approaching the Russian border and began its escort, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Wednesday.
According to the ministry, the incident happened last Saturday. First a US B-52H strategic bomber “was accompanied by Russian air traffic control” as it approached Black Sea waters.
Having approached the Russian border, the American bomber was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 fighter and “was accompanied throughout its flight along the border of Russian territorial waters, at a distance of about 70 kilometers from the border.”
After completing its mission, the Su-27 returned to the airfield in Crimea. Lately, aircraft flights from western countries have become increasingly frequent.
Recently, more and more foreign reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles have appeared near Russian borders and military installations. They are seen periodically over the Baltic Sea, Crimea and the Krasnodar region, as well as near Russian bases in Syria.
Despite Moscow’s protests, Washington, in particular, is constantly maintaining its intelligence operations near Russian territories. Such operations can cause instability and create artificial tension between the US and Russia.
Elsewhere with Russia, NATO defense ministers will discuss the situation in northeastern Syria on Thursday and Friday, Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said.
In addition, Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance considers it premature to evaluate the agreements between Russia and Turkey.
“I think it is premature to assess the consequences of the agreement reached by the presidents of Turkey and Russia,” Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday.
At the same time, Stoltenberg noted that the ceasefire agreement in northeastern Syria, previously concluded with US mediation , is the basis for a political settlement of the conflict.
“We have seen that we can move towards a political solution … We have to keep moving towards a real and negotiated political solution in Syria,” he said.
Memorandum of Understanding
On Tuesday, the presidents of Russia and Turkey met for negotiations in the Russian resort of Sochi. On the agenda was the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria. After more than seven hours of negotiations, the leaders signed a memorandum of understanding.
The agreement predicts that Kurdish militias – the main target of Turkish operations – will depart at least 30 km from the Turkish border.
The Turkish operation, in turn, will continue only between Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn localities, with a maximum depth of 32 km into Syrian territory.