Russia has said its pilots intercepted British Typhoon fighter jets amid claims the warplanes approached Russian airspace.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has dismissed the Russian defence ministry’s accusation the two countries clashed over the Black Sea.
Two Russian Su-27 fighter jets were scrambled in response to the alleged approach by a British RC-135 spy plane and pair of Typhoons.
Footage from a Russian jet’s cockpit appears to show vapour trails from the British aircraft before two Russian planes approach.
Russia‘s Defence Ministry claimed: “A pair of Su-27 fighters from the air defence duty force were flown to identify the air targets and prevent violation of the state border of the Russian Federation.
“The Russian fighter crews identified the aerial targets as an RC-135 radio-technical reconnaissance and electronic warfare aircraft and two British Air Force Typhoon multi role fighters.”
The MoD said in response: “This claim is completely false. At no time did the RAF aircraft attempt to enter Russian sovereign airspace.”
The ministry claimed as the Russian fighter jets neared, the British aircraft turned back from Russian territory.
Russia has insisted its interception was carried out “in strict compliance” with international rules on the use of airspace over neutral waters.
It said the jets did so without crossing air routes or coming dangerously close to the aircraft of a foreign state.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that the country’s jets returned safely to base after the intercept.
The Defence Ministry admitted there was no violation of the Russian border, according to TASS.
The incident on Thursday (October 19) comes after a Russian fighter jet fired two missiles at a British spy plane over the Black Sea.
Then Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the RAF Rivet Joint was on routine patrol in international airspace when it was tailed by two Russian Su-27 warplanes.
One of the fighter jets fired two missiles near the RAF plane during the 90 minute-long encounter. One missed while the other malfunctioned. The Kremlin blamed the missile releases on a technical malfunction.