Nato tracks Russian military aircraft over Atlantic, Black Sea

Russian strategic bombers and sorties of fighters tracked

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg. Photograph: Reuters

Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg. Photograph: Reuters


Nato aircraft tracked Russian strategic bombers over the Atlantic and Black Sea today and sorties of fighters over the Baltic in what the western alliance called an unusual burst of activity at a tense time in east-west relations.

Nato said its jets had intercepted four groups of Russian aircraft in about 24 hours since yesterday, and some were still on manoeuvres late this afternoon.

“These sizeable Russian flights represent an unusual level of air activity over European airspace,” the alliance said.

A spokesman said there had been no violation of Nato airspace – as there was last week when a Russian spy plane briefly crossed Estonia’s border. But such high numbers of sorties in one day were rare in recent years, he said..

In the biggest exercise, four Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bombers flew over the Norwegian Sea today, accompanied by four refuelling tanker aircraft. – (Reuters)