Russia says Su-35 scrambled over Baltic as 2 US bombers flew towards border

Russia's defence ministry said a Russian Su-35 fighter jet was scrambled over the Baltic Sea on Monday after two US strategic bombers flew in the direction of the Russian border, but that it returned to base after they moved away.

The development followed the March 14 crash of a US drone into the Black Sea after it was intercepted by Russian jets in what was the first known direct military encounter between Russia and the United States since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

"On March 20, radar facilities of the air defence forces of the Western military district on duty over the Baltic Sea detected two air targets flying in the direction of the Russian Federation's state border," the ministry said on the Telegram messaging app.

It said the targets were US Air Force B52H strategic bombers.

Also read: Not China but US supplying weapons to Russia-Ukraine battlefield, says Beijing

It said a Su-35 fighter jet took to the air in order to prevent a border violation, and added, "after the foreign military aircraft moved away from the Russian Federation state border, the Russian fighter returned to its base airfield."

The ministry said the Su-35's flight was strictly in line with international rules of the use of airspace. "No violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was permitted," it said.

The event follows the crash of a US drone over the Black Sea last week after it was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet.

The Pentagon released footage which allegedly showed the Russian fighter jet dumping fuel over the US MQ-9 Reaper drone before they collided, forcing the American drone to crash into the Black Sea.

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