Russian military aircraft were spotted off the coast of Cornwall, U.K. on Wednesday, according to media reports. British RAF Typhoon fighters were reportedly deployed to intercept the Russian Bear bombers, spotted in international airspace off the southern coast of the U.K.
"RAF Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighter aircraft were launched yesterday after Russian aircraft were identified flying close to UK airspace,” a Ministry of Defence official confirmed to The Telegraph. "The Russian planes were escorted by the RAF until they were out of the UK area of interest. At no time did the Russian military aircraft cross into UK sovereign airspace."
The incident comes after a similar one last month when Russian bombers were intercepted south of Bournemouth. The Russian planes stayed in international airspace during that incident as well. In recent weeks, Russia has also conducted observation flights near the airspace of Greece, Italy, and the U.S.
The Russian government has stressed that all flights it conducts are within bounds of international law.
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said earlier in the day that there was a “real and present danger” of Russia using covert strikes to destabilize the Baltic states, as it has allegedly done in Ukraine, BBC reported.
Russia-NATO relations are at their lowest point since the Cold War, with Russia being accused of violating a ceasefire in Ukraine on Wednesday, a move Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, described as “ironic to say the least,” The Guardian reported.