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Warsaw summons Russian ambassador over interception of Polish aircraft

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 10, 2023 8:16 PM 2 min read
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Poland’s Foreign Ministry summoned Russia’s ambassador in Warsaw, Sergey Andreev, over the recent interception of a Polish aircraft by a Russian fighter jet on May 5.

“We strongly condemn the provocative and aggressive behavior of the Russian side, which is a serious international incident,” Polish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Łukasz Jasina said on May 10.

He noted that Poland’s Foreign Ministry does not intend to release a statement regarding the incident today.

A Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jet intercepted an L410 Turbolet aircraft belonging to the Polish Border Guard around 60 kilometers east of Romanian airspace at approximately 1:20 p.m. on May 5.

According to the Romanian Defense Ministry, the Polish plane was conducting a routine patrol mission coordinated by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, or Frontex, in international airspace over the Black Sea.

“The aggressive and dangerous maneuvers repeatedly performed by the Russian Federation fighter aircraft in the vicinity of the Polish aircraft generated a high level of turbulence and caused major difficulties in controlling the Polish aircraft,” the Romanian Defense Ministry said.

The ministry added that the Russian aircraft’s behavior against the unarmed aircraft, which was conducting a Frontex mission to monitor the migratory risk in the Black Sea basin, was “completely unacceptable.”

On May 7, Frontex temporarily suspended its patrol mission over the Black Sea following the incident.

According to the Polish Border Guard spokesperson Anna Michalska, the Russian jet came dangerously close to the Polish plane at a distance of five meters three times.

A spokesperson for the Polish government said it was “probably a planned provocation by Russia,” adding that Russia is trying to “draw the international community’s attention to this kind of provocation.”

In a separate incident on March 14, A Russian fighter jet forced down an American MQ-9 Reaper drone over international waters of the Black Sea.

According to an unnamed U.S. official quoted by CNN, a Russian Su-27 Flanker jet deliberately flew ahead of the drone and released fuel in its path "several times" before damaging the drone's rear propeller. The Reaper drone was then forced to come down in international waters.

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During his address at the annual Victory Day celebration at Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that “a real war has once again been unleashed against our Motherland.”
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