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23 Jul, 2019 07:10

S. Korean pilots ‘acted unprofessionally’, Russian bombers did not violate airspace – Moscow

S. Korean pilots ‘acted unprofessionally’, Russian bombers did not violate airspace – Moscow

The Russian Defense Ministry accused South Korean pilots of acting “unprofessionally” while dangerously crossing the path of Russian bombers, which were on a routine mission over “international waters.”

Two Russian Air Force Tu-95MS bombers were flying over the Sea of Japan when they encountered a pair of South Korean F-15 and F-16 fighter jets. The respective planes “performed unprofessional maneuvers while crossing the course of the bombers, thus putting their safety at risk,” the Russian MoD said in a statement. The fighters also did not attempt to communicate with the Russian crews.

Earlier in the day, Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff committee claimed their jets were scrambled to intercept the intruding Russian aircraft which violated South Korean airspace twice. Moscow insists the encounter took place over 25km from the isles of Dokdo (known as Takeshima in Japan), and that they recorded no violation of aerial borders by Russian planes.

Also on rt.com South Korea claims ‘warning shots’ fired after Russian military aircraft ‘violated airspace’

Rejecting the JCS accusations that the Tu-95s breached South Korea’s air defense identification zone (KADIZ), Russia said there are no international regulations that stipulate the existence of these areas.

Moscow does not recognize them either, “which was repeatedly communicated to the South Korean side through various channels.” At the end of the mid-air encounter, the South Korean jets fired flares and went away, the ministry stated.

Moscow also denied reports that “warning shots” were fired at the Tu-95s. If that was the case and the Russian pilots considered themselves in danger, there would have been “an answer” to that.

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