Russian Air Maneuvers Over Europe Pose Risk
Russian Air Maneuvers Over
Europe Pose Risk, Official Says
By Nick Simeone, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. – (DoD
News) – October 31, 2014 – Russian military aircraft are continuing to fly
stepped-up maneuvers over European airspace in what a Pentagon spokesman today
called a potential risk to security and civilian aviation.
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told
reporters that NATO had tracked Russian fighter jets, long-range bombers and
tanker aircraft over the Baltics, the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean today,
and that the United States is watching the Russian air activity very closely.
“We certainly don't see these increased flights and activity
as helpful to the security situation in Europe,” Kirby said, adding that they
risk further escalating tensions between Moscow and the West, already heightened
because of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
“They also, quite frankly, could pose just a potential risk
to civil aviation, just in the sheer number of and size of and scope of these
flights,” he added.
NATO Planes Scramble
Over the past few days, NATO planes have scrambled in
response to more than 20 Russian aircraft, including strategic bombers and
tankers, conducting military maneuvers in international airspace over Europe in
what the alliance has characterized as an unusual level of air activity.
Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg described
it as a pattern of increased Russian air activity along NATO’s borders. “So far
this year, it has been over 100 intercepts of Russian aircraft,” he said.
“That's more than three times as much as we had during the whole of last year.”
(Foillow Nick Simeone on Twitter: @SimeoneDoDNews)
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