Russian plane fired missile near British spy plane: UK
A Russian fighter jet launched a missile near an unarmed British spy plane patrolling international airspace over the Black Sea on September 29, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said, in a crash apparent and not in a deliberate escalation of tensions.
Britain has condemned Russia for invading Ukraine and hitting Moscow with punitive sanctions while providing military and civilian support to Kyiv, and relations between the two countries are at an all-time low.
Wallace told parliament he had raised the government’s concerns about the incident with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and in response Russia said on October 10 that it had investigated and blamed it. to a technical malfunction.
« We don’t see this as a deliberate escalation by the Russians, our analysis would agree it was a malfunction, » Wallace told parliament.
« However, it reminds us how dangerous things can be when you choose to use your fighters as the Russians have done for many periods. »
He said Russia had acknowledged the incident had occurred in international airspace, adding that patrols had now resumed and British planes were now accompanied by fighter jet escorts.
Wallace visited Washington earlier this week, prompting speculation as to whether a specific threat or intelligence prompted the trip.
Ukraine regained ground in eastern Ukraine, leading President Vladimir Putin to order a partial Russian mobilization and intensify nuclear rhetoric. Russia describes its actions in Ukraine as a special military operation.
Wallace repeated that there would be « serious consequences » for Russia if it used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, adding that he had discussed Ukraine’s successes on the battlefield and the possible Russian response during this trip.
« I don’t think people should be worried about that, » Wallace said of the trip, adding that he was in Washington to make sure « we all understand our planning processes on what we’re going to do. » would do in case of a whole range of things. »
He pointed out that the incident with the Russian fighter and the British « Rivet Joint » aircraft highlighted the risks of miscalculation in interaction with Russia.
« Calibration is extremely important to me, » he said.
“We are dealing with a president and even Russian forces who, as we saw in the Rivet Joint incident, are not beyond miscalculating or deciding that the rules do not fit. not apply to them. »
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Farouq Suleiman, Writing by William James and Alistair Smout; Editing by Kate Holton, Raissa Kasolowsky and Jon Boyle)