A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet intercepted a Polish plane on a Frontex mission over the Black Sea on Friday, causing the pilots to temporarily “lose control,” according to a press release issued in Warsaw on Sunday.
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Piotr Müller, a spokesman for the Polish populist government, told private television Polsat News that it was a “planned provocation by Russia”.
On Saturday evening, Romania, which first noted the incident, condemned “completely unacceptable aggressive behavior” from Moscow.
According to the Polish border guards, the Russian plane “entered the operational area designated by Romania without radio communication”, “carried out aggressive and dangerous maneuvers, approached the border guard plane three times over the Poles without the required safety distance”.
As a result, the aircraft, a Turbolet L-410, “experienced significant turbulence” and the crew of five officers, including two pilots, “lost control of the aircraft and lost altitude”.
Polish border guards clarified that the Russian fighter jet passed “in front of the nose of the aircraft”, estimating its trajectory to be “about 5 meters”.
After the incident, the Polish plane landed safely in Romania.
The incident was “further evidence of Russia’s provocative approach in the Black Sea,” the Romanian defense minister said in a statement Saturday evening, condemning the Russian pilot’s “reckless” and “repeated dangerous maneuvers.”
According to the report, the unarmed Polish plane was 60 kilometers east of Romanian airspace in international airspace “monitoring the risk of migration”.
It was organized by Romania from April 19 to May 17 and coordinated by the European external border agency Frontex, with Spain and Sweden participating.
Even before the conflict in Ukraine began, incidents involving Russian aircraft and aircraft from NATO countries have increased in recent years.
They took place mostly in the Baltic Sea, but also in the Black Sea and elsewhere.