August 13, 2019 / 1:34 PM / 7 days ago

Russian jet chases NATO plane away from defense minister's aircraft: TASS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A Russian fighter jet saw off a NATO warplane after it approached a plane carrying Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu over neutral waters in the Baltic Sea, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

Shoigu’s aircraft had been returning to Moscow from the Russian Baltic region of Kaliningrad - which is surrounded by Poland and Lithuania - and was carrying a TASS reporter on board, the agency said.

It said a Spanish F-18 jet based in Lithuania had tried to approach Shoigu’s plane, prompting one of two Russian SU-27 fighter jets accompanying him to see it off.

A video of the incident shown on Russian state media showed a Russian jet sharply banking to the left in the direction of the NATO plane, forcing it to veer leftwards itself.

Shoigu had flown to Kaliningrad to attend a ceremony marking the start of construction of a new military academy.

Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Tom Balmforth/Andrew Osborn; Editing by Gareth Jones

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