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Russian jets 'intercept' American bombers over the Black Sea

Russian planes intercepted American strategic bombers as they flew over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, reports suggest.

Video circulating online purports to show a Russian fighter plane approaching one of two US B1-B Lancer aircraft. 

Russian Su-27 and Su-30 planes were used in the mission.

After the Russian aircraft approached, the American planes 'changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation,' the Russian Defence Ministry said.

Russia intercepted American strategic bomber planes as they flew over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, reports suggest. Pictured: The Sukhoi Su-27 fighter intercepting an American plane

Video circulating online purports to show a Russian fighter plane approaching one of two US B1-B Lancer aircraft. Pictured: The Su-27 with one of the American planes

A spokesperson for the ministry told Tass: 'To intercept targets, Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defence duty forces of the Southern Military District were raised'.

They said the US planes were 'promptly uncovered' and 'the flights of Russian combat aircraft took place strictly in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace'. 

The US military has yet to respond to the claims. 

After the Russian aircraft approached, the American planes 'changed the direction of flight from the state border of the Russian Federation,' the Russian Defence Ministry said. Pictured: The Su-27 with one of the American planes

A spokesperson for the ministry told Tass: 'To intercept targets, Su-27P and Su-30SM fighters from the air defence duty forces of the Southern Military District were raised'. Pictured: The Su-27 with one of the American planes

They said the US planes were 'promptly uncovered' and 'the flights of Russian combat aircraft took place strictly in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace'. Pictured: The Su-27 with one of the American planes

Pictured: A Sukhoi Su-27 aircraft on the tarmac. This was one of the planes allegedly used to intercept a Russian aircraft today

It comes just two days after two Russian fighter jets were accused of flying in 'an unsafe and unprofessional manner' while intercepting a US spy plane over the Mediterranean Sea. 

The Su-35 fighters surrounded a P-8A US plane as it flew over the Mediterranean Sea on Tuesday, the US Navy revealed in a statement. 

The fighters 'took close station of the spy plane' over a period of 65 minutes, the statement read.

It added: 'While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible.

'We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety'.

The proximity of the two planes made it impossible for the US aircraft to 'safely manoeuvre'.

'The unnecessary actions of the Russian Su-35 pilots were inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules, and jeopardized the safety of flight of both aircraft,' the statement said.

It comes just two days after two Russian fighter jets were accused of flying in 'an unsafe and unprofessional manner' while intercepting a US spy plane over the Mediterranean Sea (pictured)

The US Navy denied provoking the attack and added they had been acting within the law.

President Donald Trump last week said Russian violations make it untenable for the US to stay in a treaty that permits 30-plus nations to conduct observation flights over each other's territory.

The Open Skies Treaty that governs the unarmed overflights was initially set up to promote trust and avert conflict between the US and Russia. 

The Trump administration informed other members of the treaty that it will pull out in six months because Russia is violating the pact and imagery collected during the flights can be obtained quickly at less cost from US or commercial satellites.

'Russia didn't adhere to the treaty. So until they adhere, we will pull out, but there´s a very good chance we´ll make a new agreement or do something to put that agreement back together,' Trump told reporters at the White House before leaving for Michigan on Thursday, May 21.

The fighters 'took close station of the spy plane' over a period of 65 minutes, a statement read

A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter takes off during an air show at the Teknofest festival at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on September 17, 2019

'So I think what's going to happen is we're going to pull out and they [the Russians] are going to come back and want to make a deal,' Trump said. 'I think something very positive will work.'

The US announcement that it plans to leave the treaty is expected to strain relations with Moscow and upset some members of Congress and European allies, which benefit from the imagery collected by Open Skies flights conducted by the US.

In Moscow, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko criticized the US decision.

'Our position is absolutely clear and is invariable: The withdrawal of the US from this treaty will come as yet another blow to the system of military security in Europe, which is already weakened by the previous moves by the administration,' Grushko told state news agency Tass.

Trump's national security adviser Robert O'Brien said the president has made clear that the United States will not remain a party to international agreements being violated by the other parties and are no longer in America's interests. 

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