Russia threatens to shoot aircraft patrolling Black Sea, claims France

Author:AP 2024-02-22 17:50 4

Russian forces threatened to shoot down French flights patrolling last month in international airspace over the Black Sea, signals of a “particularly aggressive” posture from Moscow as its invasion of Ukraine struggles to make headway, France's defense minister said Thursday.

The Russian Navy's guided missile cruiser Moskva sails back into a harbour after tracking NATO warships in the Black Sea.(REUTERS)

The minister, Sébastien Lecornu, didn’t give specific details about the French flights or aircraft involved in the threatened shootdown. But he said Russia was returning to a “particularly aggressive” posture reminiscent of the former Soviet Union's behavior during the Cold War.

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“A month ago, to give you a very concrete example, a Russian air traffic control system threatened to shoot down French aircraft in the Black Sea when we were in a free international zone where we patrol," he said on RTL radio.

“The behavior of Russia in 2024 bears no relation to what we saw in 2022 and, obviously, before the aggression in Ukraine,” the minister said. “It is explained by the fact that Russia is in difficulty on the battlefield in Ukraine."

Title:Russia threatens to shoot aircraft patrolling Black Sea, claims France

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