World War 3: Russian jets intercept US and Norwegian spy planes detected near border

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Over recent weeks, there have been a number of similar occurrences along Russia’s borders, according to the Ministry of Defence. Jets have intercepted planes and other military aircrafts probing Russian air defences.

A statement by the ministry today said: “Aerial targets flying toward the state border of the Russian Federation were identified as reconnaissance aircraft: a Norwegian Air Force P-3C Orion over the Barents Sea and US Navy P-8A Poseidon, US Air Force RC-135 and US Air Force MQ-9A Reaper drone over the Black Sea.”

The aircrafts were picked up by planes under the command of Russia’s Northern Fleet and the Southern Military District.

Russian jets escorted the planes until they reached the border.

The Defence Ministry stressed all flights were carried out “in strict accordance with International rules on the use of airspace”.

This latest incident comes just days after Russian jets intercepted a RC-135 spy plane heading towards Russian airspace on Saturday in the Sea of Japan.

Earlier this month, another US aircraft was intercepted over the Black Sea.

Two more incidents were reported just days before that.

Back in June, the ministry revealed around 35 foreign aircrafts had carried out reconnaissance operations along Russia’s borders.

Over recent weeks, Washington has tightened its grip over the High North countries after US bombers and warplanes were spotted flying over Scandinavia.

In June, two US B-1 supersonic bombs flew over Sweden accompanied by Swedish jets.

They then continued over Norway and were flanked by Norwegian F-35 fighter jets.

Since May, a number of other US bombers, including B-52s and B-2s appeared near Norway.

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Military advisor Per Eirk Solli at Northern University in Bodø said: “Recently we saw US bombers cruising over Sweden and Norway.

“The fact that the modern strategic bomber B-1B Lancer is flying over previously neutral Sweden is brand new.

“We have not seen that before.”

Scandinavian countries have previously declared neutrality for more than a hundred years.

But the recent joint military action has suggested Norway and Sweden are no longer neutral.

Mr Solli added: “If we compare activity over the last couple of years, US and Allied activity is increasing faster than Russia’s.

“What we see now, which is also new, is that Americans have begun to use their modern naval ships and bombers to send geopolitical signals.

“The fact that Sweden is also involved in this signalling together with the US is a whole new development.

“We see that the US is returning to a more traditional deterrence.

“And in addition to balancing militarily against Russia, the Americans are doing the same to China now.”

The relationship between Norway and Russia has been strained over recent years with both countries accusing each other of espionage.

Norway’s Labour leader, Jonas Gahr Støre, previously expressed concern NATO was not paying enough attention to Russia.

But he has seemingly changed his tune and said: “We must never get into a situation where other states are pushing up the level of tension in our proximity without us being involved.

“It is in Norway’s interest to ensure low voltage.

“There is every reason to pay attention.”

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