Another provocation of Russia's Air Force was observed over the Baltic Sea. NATO reported that Russia's Su-27 fighter jet approached the Spanish combat aircraft and performed an unsafe maneuver near him.
According to Baltic News Service, the incident took place on August 13, as the Spanish Air Force planes, part of NATO's Baltic air policing role intercepted Russia's Tu-214 airliner; it could be carrying Russia's defense minister Sergei Shoigu. However, NATO could not actually confirm the official was on board.
"Russian news agency TASS claimed the plane was "chased off" by an intercepting Sukhoi Su-27 (NATO codename: Flanker) and that the fighter was one of two escorting a Tupolev Tu-214 airliner carrying Russian defense minister Sergey Shoygu", Baltic News Service wrote. The news agency also referred to TASS that mentioned Shoigu coming back to Russia from Kaliningrad, Russia's exclave, "after attending a Naval ceremony there".
According to NATO, Russian Tu-214 was escorted by two Su-27s. Spanish F-18s intercepted the airliner, but one of Su-27s "almost cut into the flight path of one of the F-18s in an unsafe manner". There could be a collision due to that move, as the planes nearly ran into each other; but it was avoided thanks to the NATO pilot's reaction.
NATO press office reiterates that such provocative acts over the Baltic Sea have been a frequent thing for Russia to do.