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On Tuesday, the Russian military also intercepted three French aircraft in the same area and escorted them over the Black Sea, preventing any possible violation of the border, Russia’s Southern Military District said.

A Russian Air Force Su-27 has intercepted French warplanes near the country’s southern border, the National Defence Management Centre stated on Wednesday.

“The pilot of the Russian fighter identified the air targets as two French Air Force Mirage-2000 jet fighters and a C-135 tanker aircraft, and escorted them over the Black Sea”, an official message from the Russian military says.

NATO planes have intensified their reconnaissance activities near the Russian border since the end of 2020, with at least four foreign aircraft approaching the Russian border on Tuesday alone. Moscow has repeatedly warned that such frequent flights by US and other NATO aircraft near the country’s border pose a risk of accidental escalation.