NATO jet approached plane carrying Russian defense minister, reports say

WaPo/Andrew Roth/06-21-17

A NATO F-16 fighter approached and was then warned away from a jet carrying Russia’s defense minister, Russian media reported Wednesday, the latest in a string of aerial incidents that have marked rising tensions between the West and Russia.

The incident occurred over the Baltic Sea in northeastern Europe, according to reporters traveling with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in international airspace crowded with Russian and NATO jets testing one another’s nerve in sometimes dangerously close proximity.

But no incidents yet had involved aircraft with high-ranking Russian or U.S. government officials on board.

PG View: The provocations seem to be intensifying. One mistake or overreaction could lead to a major escalation.

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