Russia Attempts to Intercept American Jet in NATO Airspace

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September 1, 2020

A Russian fighter jet flew deep into Danish airspace last week after attempting to intercept an American bomber, the Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The Russian fighter jet ran down a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber in international airspace on Friday and ultimately flew into Danish territory. Denmark dispatched rapid response aircraft to intercept the Russian jet, which escaped before it could be reached.

One of many recent maneuvers by Moscow that threaten American and allied military resources, the move elicited concern from NATO officials.

"This incident demonstrates Russia's disrespect of international norms and for the sovereign airspace of an Allied nation. We remain vigilant, ready, and prepared to secure NATO airspace 24/7," said Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of NATO's Allied Air Command.

Also on Friday, two other Russian jets intercepted an American plane over the Black Sea, coming within 100 feet of the plane's nose. The American bomber experienced turbulence and restricted range for evasive maneuvering.

"Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules," Harrigian said of the Black Sea incident. "While the Russian aircraft were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents."

Just last week, Russia challenged American ground operations in Syria when Russian forces rammed a coalition armored vehicle on a routine security patrol, leaving four American servicemen with concussions.

"Unsafe and unprofessional actions like this represent a breach of deconfliction protocols, committed to by the United States and Russia in December 2019," National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said. 

Published under: NATO , Russia