According to media sources, British and German fighter jets scrambled to intercept two Russian aircraft flying close to Estonia in a joint NATO mission on Tuesday, hours after a Russian plane downed a US drone over the Black Sea, amid worries of escalation in the region.
According to the Daily Mail, the RAF and German Typhoon fighters were responding to a Russian air-to-air refuelling aircraft that had failed to communicate with Estonian air traffic control and was approaching NATO airspace.
The Russian Il-78 Midas plane was intercepted between St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. The NATO fighters were later redirected to intercept a Russian Antonov 148 military transport plane that was also flying near to Estonian airspace, the RAF stated in a release on Wednesday, according to the Daily Mail.
It was the two countries’ first collaborative NATO air policing mission, and it comes at a time when tensions in the region are high due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and threats to Kyiv’s western allies.
Following the incident involving the drone in international airspace on Tuesday, Russia today warned that it will “consider any action with US weaponry as openly hostile.” Danish investigators also said they had discovered a “suspicious object” beneath the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, parts of which were mysteriously destroyed last year, according to the Daily Mail.