Russia says planes must reduce altitude to avoid NATO spy planes

Aeroflot logo seen on top of building in Moscow
The logo of Russian state airline Aeroflot is seen atop a building in central Moscow, Russia, April 22, 2016. REUTERS / Maxim Zmeyev

December 4, 2021

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A Russian Aeroflot plane flying from Tel Aviv to Moscow was forced to change altitude over the Black Sea because a NATO CL-600 reconnaissance plane crossed its designated flight path. of it, Russia’s state aviation authorities said on Saturday.

The state airline said flight SU501 carrying 142 passengers had to descend 2,000 feet on Friday after air traffic control informed them that another plane had crossed its path.

The crew was able to see the other plane as they flew through the sky, it said in a separate statement.

The aviation authority Rosaviatsia said a smaller CL-650 plane flying from the Black Sea resort of Sochi to Skopje had to change course as well.

It did not say which NATO member the reconnaissance aircraft belonged to. On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had sent fighter jets to escort two US military reconnaissance planes over the Black Sea.

The US embassy in Moscow did not immediately comment on the incident when it was reported by Interfax news agency.

Rosaviatsia said the increase in flights by NATO planes in the region was creating a risk for civilian planes and Moscow was planning a diplomatic complaint about them.

International tensions are growing over Ukraine and the Black Sea region.

Powers Kyiv and NATO accuse Russia of building up its military near Ukraine, raising fears of a possible attack. Moscow denies any such plans and accuses Kyiv of building up its own forces in the east, where Russian-backed separatists control large swaths of Ukraine.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Helen Popper and Kevin Liffey) Russia says planes must reduce altitude to avoid NATO spy planes


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