Russia's Defense Ministry has published dramatic video Tuesday showing another close encounter between its military planes and NATO jets over the Baltic Sea, but this time it involved a dangerous intercept as the NATO aircraft came just off the wing of a large passenger plane carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
A TASS news agency correspondent aboard Defense Minister Shoigu's plane captured the moment when a pair of Russian Su-27 escorts drove off the NATO F-18 aircraft in what is the most serious incident in the neutral skies over the Baltic to date.
A Russian Su-27 jet propels an F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet away from the aircraft of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu in the sky over the Baltic Sea.#Russia #USA #Baltic pic.twitter.com/uUeTebiYDd— Ali Özkök (@Ozkok_A) August 13, 2019
TASS describes the incident as follows (based on rush translation):
The plane carrying Shoigu was accompanied by an escort of two fighter aircraft of the Baltic Fleet Su-27 as it went from Kaliningrad to Moscow.
Above the neutral waters of the Baltic, the NATO F-18 aircraft tried to approach the defense minister's plane, but the Russian pilots pushed the fighter out, not allowing it to come close to the liner.
One of the Russian Su-27's can be seen banking hard into the NATO F-18, after which the F-18 continues its path away from the defense minister's plane.
Given the close-call incident involved Russia's top military official, Moscow is likely to lodge a formal complaint with NATO command in Brussels.