RUSSIA deployed fighter jets after a US spy plane was spotted over the Black Sea.
This comes just two weeks after a major international incident when a Russian warplane reportedly dropped bombs on the route of British destroyer HMS Defender off the coast of Crimea.
So-called “warning shots” were also fired from an FSB coastal patrol vessel.
In the latest incident Russia claims two Su-30 fighters prevented a Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft of the US Navy from entering its airspace.
A video was released showing the aerial standoff, but the precise location was not divulged.
“On the evening of July 6, Russian airspace control devices over the neutral waters of the Black Sea detected an air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation,” said the defence ministry in Moscow on Wednesday.
Two Su-30s were dispatched to identify the aircraft and prevent it entering Russian airspace, according to the Russians.
“The crews of Russian fighters identified the air target as a Boeing P-8 Poseidon and escorted it over the Black Sea.
“The flight of Russian aircraft was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.
“Violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was not allowed.”
There was no immediate comment from the US and no direct evidence that the plane had sought to encroach Russian airspace.
The Royal Navy insisted that its warship was in international or Ukrainian waters off Crimea, annexed by Vladimir Putin from Ukraine in 2014.
A Russian coastguard boat barked “change your course or I’ll fire” at the massive Brit warship.
The Russian vessel opened fire twice – once at 12.06pm and again at 12.08pm – before the planes were ordered in.
Defence Correspondent for the BBC, Jonathan Beale, was on board the HMS Defender when the shots were fired.
“We did hear some firing in the distance but they were believed to be well out of range,” he wrote.
Britain has vowed to continue using the route on future missions, provoking fury in Moscow.
Russia today said it was tracking a Spanish naval ship in the Black Sea amid NATO military exercises.