North Atlantic Treaty Organisation F-16 Driven Away from Russian Defense Minister's Plane

NATO jet intercepts Russian minister's plane

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A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation F-16 fighter jet tried to intercept the plane of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in the Baltic Sea Wednesday, according to Russian state media.

On Wednesday, Shoigu's jet was bound for the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad when it was intercepted by an F-16, the Russian reports said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was flying above the Baltic sea on his way to Kaliningrad when a Polish F16 fighter jet pulled up right next to his plane.

On Wednesday, Sweden summoned Russia's ambassador after a Russian Sukhoi fighter jet flew unusually close to a Swedish reconnaissance plane above the Baltic Sea. "The [Russian] fighter "showed" the Nato-ite its weaponry by tilting its wings", the state news agency Ria Novosti reported.

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Let's remind that the Russian Defense Minister, speaking at a meeting of the Defense Ministry, said the situation on Russia's western border is exacerbated by NATO's growing military activity in Eastern Europe.

Also on Monday, a Russian jet flew within several feet of a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Baltics.

There have been over 30 interactions between Russian and USA aircrafts and ships close to the Baltic Sea since the beginning of the month, according to CNN. "Once complete, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation jets break away", the official said.

Shoigu said the large-scale drills reflect NATO's "anti-Russian course".

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Asked whether the Russian pilots had provoked the encounter, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said: "We assess the Russian pilots' behavior as safe and professional".

In the video, a person within Shoigu's plane films what appears to be an F-16 at a close distance. The strike angered Moscow, which in turn threatened to target US warplanes operating in Russia's area of operation in Syria.

The meeting came after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation held military exercises at the weekend in Poland on the Lithuanian border close to Kaliningrad.

According to the PAP news agency, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation source said that three Russian planes were being followed over the Baltic Sea. The ministry said at the same time that another RC-135 had been intercepted by a Russian jet in the same area. Defense Department spokesperson Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the US aircraft "did nothing to provoke this behavior".

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The NATO buildup includes the modernization of airfields, ports and other military sites, as well as the deployment of new elements of the USA missile defense, the minister added.

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