Russian fighter jets on Tuesday forced a NATO F-18 fighter jet to approach near a plane carrying the Kremlin defense minister, according to state-run agency TASS news. aircraft in the international airspace on the Baltic Sea en route to Moscow before two Russian Sukhoi-27 fighters following the aircraft pursued the F-18.
A NATO official told TASS that the jets had approached the Russian plane to identify it.
"Jets from NATO's Baltic Air Policing mission are repairing to identify the aircraft, which flies near Allied airspace," the official said. "When the recognition of the aircraft took place, NATO jets returned to base."
This is not the first time that Moscow and NATO have been involved in such an incident in the same body of water.
Shoigu in 2017 was flying into the Baltic when a NATO F-16 fighter jet approached its aircraft and was also being chased by escort planes, TASS reported at the time. traffic control, so alliance jets are "scrambled to identify them, as per the usual procedure."