Russia needs to conduct its reconnaissance flights in a “more responsible way,” says NATOs Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
This is reported by the Russian news agency Sputnik today.
- Russia is approaching our borders, approaching NATO ships very close and conducting their flights without filing their flight plans, not turning on transponders and not communicating with civilian air traffic control. We ask Russia to conduct those flights in a more responsible way, Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Brussels earlier today.
This morning several Norwegian newspapers reports on a Russian MIG 31-fighter that suddenly appeared in front of a Norwegian F-16 aircraft. The incident happened last year in international airspace, and was filmed from the cockpit. According to the Norwegian newspaper VG the Russian MIG aircraft were "less than 20 meters" from the Norwegian F-16.
Over the last months there have been several similar incidents in the northern part of Europe.
- We have seen some cases of behavior in the air from the Russians that tells us that they don’t like that we are there, says Lieutenant Colonel Gøran Hoel, commander at the Norwegian Air Force 331 Squadron in Bodø, to TV2, which first published the video.
According to Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO launches its jets twice as often this year because of Russia’s increased air activity in Europe.
The Russian Defense Ministry, on its side, states that all of the Russian Air Force flights are carried out in accordance with the international regulations – and that they don’t violate the borders of other states.