Russia’s defence ministry has said that the United Kingdom requested permission for one its RC-135 spy planes to fly over Russia, a move it termed “a deliberate provocation”.
The ministry said on Tuesday that London has sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory.
A UK Ministry of Defence source, cited by the Reuters news agency, denied that the UK had asked permission to fly a spy plane over Russia.
The Russian defence ministry said that Russia’s air force had been tasked with preventing any violations of Russian airspace.
The ministry said the country’s air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion.
The tough Russian statement comes amid tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in a war running since February.
“We regard this action as a deliberate provocation,” the ministry said, adding that the Russian air force has been “given the task to prevent the violation of the Russian border”.
“All possible consequences of this deliberate provocation will lie entirely with the British side,” the ministry said in a statement, without specifying when and where the British flight was planned.
On Monday, the ministry said a Russian fighter jet was scrambled to intercept a British RC-135 reconnaissance plane that crossed the Russian border near the Svyatoi Nos cape between the Barents and the White Seas.
The MiG-31 fighter forced the intruder out, the ministry said.