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NATO air force put on alert due to Polish aircraft interception by Russian Su-35

Sunday, 7 May 2023, 08:41

On Friday, a Russian Su-35 fighter jet performed a dangerous interception of an L410 TURBOLET aircraft belonging to the Polish Border Guard Service, which was on a scheduled patrol mission under the auspices of Frontex over the Black Sea in international airspace in cooperation with Romanian services.

Source: RMF FM

The incident happened around 13:20, 60 km to the east from Romanian airspace.


The Ministry of National Defence of Romania reported that the aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres repeatedly carried out by the fighter jet of the Russian Federation near the Polish plane caused high turbulence and difficulties in controlling the aircraft.

Two Romanian Air Force fighter jets and two Spanish Air Force fighter jets, which were operating as part of the Air Police Combat Service, were alerted by NATO's Joint Air Operations Center in Torrejón, Spain. They were ready to intervene at the first opportunity, but it turned out that there was no need for this.

As reported by the Romanians, the crew from Poland behaved calmly and professionally in the situation irresponsibly created by the Russian pilot. The Poles ejected the aircraft after an initial loss of altitude caused by the manoeuvres of the Su-35 and landed safely at Mihail Kogălniceanu International Airport in Romania at around 13:50. As a result of the incident, none of the crew members of the Polish plane were injured.

Quote: "The Romanian authorities are in contact with Frontex and the Polish authorities to find out all the circumstances of the incident. The aggressive behaviour of a military aircraft belonging to the Russian Federation towards an unarmed aircraft carrying out the Frontex mission of monitoring migration risks in the Black Sea basin is unacceptable. This incident is another proof of the provocative behaviour of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea," the Ministry of Defence of Romania reports in its communiqué.

The Polish L410 UVP-E20 aircraft is in Romania from 19 April to 17 May 2023 as part of the multipurpose maritime operation Western Black Sea 2023, coordinated by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

The Western Black Sea 2023 is a joint operation led by Romania and coordinated by Frontex. Poland, Spain, and Sweden also participate in the operation with two European Union agencies. Planned to last until mid-December this year, the operation aims to prevent illegal migration, illegal fishing, and sea pollution and combat other types of cross-border crime in the Black Sea region. Operation Western Black Sea has been conducted annually since 2019.

Background: Citing a leaked Pentagon paper, the Washington Post reported that on 29 September, a Russian fighter jet came dangerously close to shooting down an unarmed British spy plane over the Black Sea last year.

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