Russian Fighter Jet Escorts U.S. Bombers Away

( – Russian jets interacted with US military aircraft over international waters on several occasions, over the course of the last few years. At times, the acts were aggressive and hostile.

On Tuesday, October 19, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited former Soviet Socialist bloc state Ukraine. He said that regional cooperation among other former Soviet countries was needed to deter Russian aggression in the Black Sea region.

On the same day Austin was meeting with Ukrainians, Russia’s defense ministry said Russian fighter jets intercepted two US B-1B Lancer supersonic bombers in the process of refueling in-air over the international waters of the Black Sea. This area lies between Europe and Asia, bordering Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Turkey.

The Russians said the US military aircraft were heading towards the Russian border. After the planes turned away, the Russians said their fighter jets safely returned to their base. On Sunday, a similar incident occurred when a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet escorted a B-1 over the Sea of Japan, which is also international waters.

The Pentagon stated US military aircraft often meet with Russian planes over international airspace. The military said most interactions are not hazardous, and that pilots are professional. When a situation arises that is not safe, the Pentagon said it does not discuss details of the confrontation publicly.

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