French fighter jets escorted by Russian plane over Black Sea

France's Armed Forces Ministry said a Russian jet escorted French warplanes that were carrying out a NATO observation mission in international airspace over the Black Sea on Thursday.

Citing the Russian Defence Ministry, RIA news agency had earlier said Russian military aircraft scrambled to escort French Rafale and Mirage fighter jets flying over the Black Sea.

"A Russian Sukhoi 27 fighter plane approached, then followed our planes during most of their transit over the Black Sea," Army spokesman Pascal Ianni told Reuters.

"This interaction took place in a professional manner and without representing any danger and this kind of situation is usual. It neither hindered the mission of French planes nor their freedom of navigation in international airspace."

The interaction is not uncommon with similar incidents previously happening but comes amid tensions between the West and Russia in the region.

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