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Russians Say Intercept of U.S. Plane Prevented an International Incident

Nov. 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—By intercepting a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Black Sea on Nov. 25, the way it did, the Russian air force prevented an international "scandal" near the Russian border. This assertion was made by Lt. Gen. Viktor Sevastyanov this morning, according to Sputnik. According to Sevastyanov, the interception was carried out only after the U.S. reconnaissance plane flew to within 10 kilometers of the state border of Russia. The U.S. aircraft was forced to change its trajectory and move away from Russia’s airspace.

"Our pilots, in actual fact, helped U.S. colleagues avoid an international scandal that would have broken if they [had] violated Russia’s state border,"

Sevastyanov said.

Vladimir Kozin, a professor at the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, dismissed the Pentagon’s claims about "unsafe" Russian "behavior" as just "noise."

"There were no dangerous interceptions, and will not be any. Our pilots are responsible people, and understand that any dangerous interception can end badly for both sides. Therefore, instead of raising all this noise, the U.S. military should just stop its provocative flights near our territory,"

he told Sputnik.

Sputnik also reports that the Russian Defense Ministry has noted an uptick in U.S. spy flights along Russia’s periphery in recent months. In the seven-day period, twelve spy planes were caught approaching Russian airspace, including six on the western borders, three in the Russian Arctic, one on the southwestern flank, and two from the east. A week before that, 17 foreign aircraft were reported to be patrolling the border, with Russian planes scrambled twice to intercept.