Putin, Johnson speak after UK intercepts four Russian bombers

Russian president Vladimir Putin and British prime minister Boris Johnson discussed Ukraine following an aerial incident in a British 'area of interest.'

 A Russian TU-95 bomber flies through airspace northwest of Okinoshima island, Fukuoka  (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Russian TU-95 bomber flies through airspace northwest of Okinoshima island, Fukuoka
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Britain intercepted and escorted four Russian bomber aircrafts approaching its area of interest earlier on Wednesday, a Royal Air Force spokesman said.

"Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon fighters based at RAF Lossiemouth supported by a Voyager from RAF Brize Norton were scrambled today against unidentified aircraft approaching the UK area of interest."

"Subsequently, we intercepted and escorted four Russian Bear aircraft," the spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The aircraft did not enter Britain's sovereign air space. 

Following the incident, Russian president Vladimir Putin and British prime minister Boris Johnson discussed Ukraine and the issue of security guarantees for Russia in a phone call, the Kremlin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)

Putin told Johnson the NATO bloc was not ready to adequately react to Russian concerns, according to the statement on the Kremlin website.

Johnson told Putin that any incursion into Ukraine would be a tragic miscalculation, Johnson's office said in a statement.

"The prime minister expressed his deep concern about Russia's current hostile activity on the Ukrainian border," a spokesperson from Johnson's office said.

"He emphasized the need to find a way forward which respects both Ukraine's territorial integrity and right to self-defense. The prime minister stressed that any further Russian incursion into Ukrainian territory would be a tragic miscalculation." 

Earlier on Wednesday, Russia mocked Johnson as "utterly confused" and ridiculed British politicians for their "stupidity and ignorance," hurling more scorn at the West after President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of trying to provoke war.