UK & World News
US Plane Flies Into Sweden To Avoid Russians
A US reconnaissance plane crossed into Swedish airspace last month to avoid being intercepted by Russian fighters, the New York Times has said.
On July 18, Russian aircraft approached an Air Force RC-135 electronic surveillance plane as it was flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, it reported.
Swedish media said the aircraft was flying near Kaliningrad, a militarised Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania.
After being approached by Russian aircraft, the RC-135 pilot sought to avoid the encounter by manoeuvring his plane into Swedish airspace, flying over Gotland Island.
Sweden is not a member of Nato, and the United States European Command said in a statement that the RC-135 had been directed toward Swedish territory "incorrectly by US personnel", the Times reported.
The spy plane then quickly left Swedish airspace.
Details about the incursion came as the Interfax news agency said Russia would carry out military exercises involving more than 100 planes and helicopters in central and western districts.
Air force spokesman Igor Klimov was quoted as saying aircraft such as Su-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets, Russia's newest frontline bomber the Su-34, and Mi-8, Mi-24 and Mi-28N helicopters would be used in the exercises and some would conduct missile practice.
Ties between Washington and Moscow have plunged to their lowest level since the end of the Cold War over the crisis in Ukraine.
The US accuses Russia of providing weapons and support to rebels fighting the Kiev government, a charge that Moscow denies.
Washington has imposed tough sanctions on Russia.