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Russian fighter jet dispatched to intercept US aircraft near border

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
TOPSHOT - Russian Sukhoi Su-35S fighter aircrafts, Su-34 military fighter jets and Su-30SM jet fighters fly over downtown Moscow during a military parade, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Moscow on June 24, 2020. The parade, usually held on May 9, was postponed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. / AFP / Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

A Russian fighter jet was dispatched to intercept a US aircraft that was approaching the Russian border over the waters of the Barents Sea, says the Russian military.

The Russian National Defense Control Center said on Thursday that a MiG-31BM fighter jet was scrambled to identify the craft, which was identified as a US Navy P-8A maritime patrol plane, Russia's Tass news agency reported. 

“The Russian fighter’s crew approached the air target at a safe distance,” said the center.

“After the US plane moved away from Russia’s state border, the Russian fighter safely returned to its home airfield," it added.

It also explained that “no violations of the Russian state border by the US military plane were allowed.”

In a similar incident on Wednesday, Russia’s National Defense Management Center scrambled a fighter jet to intercept two US aircraft, after they were detected on radar over the neutral waters of the Black Sea.

US bombers and spy planes, as well as NATO aircraft, have frequently been detected near Russia’s borders.

The flights, which Russia deems provocative, have increased since 2014, when Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum and the ongoing military conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out.

Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the increasing activities of the US-led NATO forces near its western borders.

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