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    Interception of US aircraft over Black Sea was safe – Russian defense ministry

    Russia’s Su-27 fighter jet intercepted a US ЕР-3Е Aries II warfare and reconnaissance aircraft flying over the Black Sea towards the Russian border. All safety precautions were observed during the interception, the Russian defense ministry’s press service said on Monday, commenting of Western media allegations about unsafe interception of an Orion reconnaissance aircraft.
    According to the Russian defense ministry, at about noon on Monday Russian airspace control alert means spotted an unidentified air target over the Black Sea neutral waters approaching Russia’s airspace borders.
    “A Su-27 fighter jet from air defense alert force was used to intercept the target. The Su-27 approached the aircraft to a safe distance and identified it as a US ЕР-3Е Aries II electronic warfare and reconnaissance aircraft,” the ministry said.
    According to the Russian ministry, the Russian fighter jet followed the US aircraft to prevent it from violating Russia’s airspace borders observing all necessary safety precautions.
    After the US reconnaissance aircraft changed its course off Russia’s airspace border, the Russian Su-27 fighter jet returned to the base. “The Su-27 flight was performed in strict compliance with international rule of airspace use, not incidents were reported,” the ministry added.
    CNN reported earlier that a Russian fighter jet had intercepted an Orion reconnaissance plane over the Black Sea. CNN said citing US officials that the interception had been unsafe.