Russia accuses UK of ‘deliberate provocation’ — Analysis
According to the Defense Ministry, the British Air Force requested permission for a reconnaissance aircraft to fly above Russia.
Britain’s Royal Air Force is carrying out a provocative action in Russian airspace, the Defense Ministry in Moscow has warned. This statement was issued after Britain requested permission for reconnaissance aircraft to fly above Russian territory.
On Tuesday, Russian military officials revealed that a “The UK has requested the passage of RC-135, a British reconnaissance aircraft, along a route that crosses the Russian Federation’s territory among other countries.”
The ministry emphasized that it deemed “This is a provocation.”
The statement went on to say that the Russian Air Force had been tasked with preventing any “violation of the Russian Federation’s airspace.”
Moscow also pointed out that “All possible outcomes” of the planned reconnaissance flight would “Rest assured that the UK will be your only choice.”
The Russian Defense Ministry’s warning comes hard on the heels of another incident involving a British reconnaissance aircraft.
On Monday, military officials in Moscow claimed that an RC-135 surveillance jet – the same model as the one mentioned in Britain’s latest passage request – had entered Russian airspace in the Barents Sea near the city of Murmansk and major bases of the country’s Navy’s Northern Fleet. The Russian MiG-31BM interceptor made it impossible for the intrusion to be allowed to exit Russian airspace.
Since Russia’s military operations in Ukraine began in February, this was the first time that NATO aircraft had entered Russian territory.
Earlier that month, Moscow claimed that a US submarine had entered Russian waters and was subsequently chased off near the Kuril Islands in the northern Pacific – which the Pentagon denied at the time.
According to Moscow’s estimates, in 2021 alone, the number of reconnaissance flights by NATO aircraft rose by over 30%.
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