Russia says fighter jets intercepted British planes over Black Sea

(Reuters) -Russia scrambled two Su-27 fighter jets on Thursday to prevent three British military planes from entering Russian airspace over the Black Sea, the Russian defence ministry said.

It said the Russian fighters were sent to intercept “three air targets” approaching the border, and identified them as an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft and two Typhoon fighter planes.

“As the Russian fighters approached, the foreign military aircraft turned away from the state border of the Russian Federation,” the statement said.

It was not clear how close the planes had come to each other.

The Black Sea has become an increasingly important theatre in the war between Russia and Ukraine, now nearing the end of its 20th month. President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he had ordered Russian planes armed with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles to patrol over the Black Sea.

Russia has previously reported a number of incidents in which its fighter jets were scrambled to intercept military planes from Norway, another NATO member, over the Barents Sea.

(Reporting by Reuters;Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Alex Richardson)