In the afternoon of August 13, the F-18 fighter jet of NATO forces approached the Russian aircraft over the Baltic to identify it. The Alliance did not know that Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu is on board of that plane, reports TASS news agency with reference to the NATO's press service. NATO explained that the fighter jet approached the Russian plane because it was flying close to the Alliance's airspace.
"As soon as the identification was carried out, the plane returned to the base. NATO had no information about who was on board of the Russian aircraft," reads the message of the Alliance.
The incident occurred when the plane of the Russian Defense Minister was flying over the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea. Shoygu was returning to Moscow from Kaliningrad. The liner was accompanied by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets.
During the flight, NATO's F-18 approached the Minister's plane, but when a Russian fighter began to move in its direction, F-18 changed its route and flew away.
The Russian Defense Ministry previously stated that “Russian aircraft regularly fly over the neutral waters of several seas, including the Baltic Sea”. On Monday, August 12, the Ministry reported that Russian Tu-95 bombers flew over the Barents, Norwegian and Northern Seas, and in some areas, they were accompanied by Norwegian F-16 fighter jets.