The Russian Defense Ministry warned Britain today of a planned flight of its spy plane over Russian territory, saying Moscow’s air force had been ordered to prevent the incursion. The Ministry announced that Britain sent a notification about the planned flight of the RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft along a route that partly passes over Russian territory.
“We consider this action a deliberate provocation,” the ministry announced, adding that the Russian Air Force “was tasked with preventing violations of the Russian border.”
“All possible consequences of this deliberate provocation will fall entirely on the British side,” the ministry said in a statement, without specifying when and where the British flight was planned.
The ministry announced yesterday that a Russian fighter jet intercepted a British reconnaissance aircraft RC-135 that crossed the Russian border near Cape St. Nose between the Barents and White seas.
“The intruder was driven out by a MiG-31 fighter,” the Russian ministry of defense announced.
After the Kremlin’s accusations that the British plane had entered Russian airspace, the British Ministry of Defense announced that this was not true and that United Kingdom was not spying on Russia.
The RC-135 Rivet Joint flight was part of a “routine operation” on Monday, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said. A Russian fighter jet made an “unsafe close pass” of a reconnaissance plane over international waters, it added. Moscow said it was “tasked with preventing the violation of the airspace of the Russian Federation.”
The MoD said the RC-135, based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire, was communicating with Russian civilian air traffic control and its crew operated in a “safe and professional manner” during the flight, which took it over the Norwegian and Barents seas in the Arctic Circle.
Many experts from different European countries believe that espionage has been on the rise for the past 2 years, especially as far as Russian agents are concerned.
In just the past few years, several people have been accused of espionage. Some european countries have initiated legal proceedings against citizens of Great Britain on suspicion of spying for Russia.
In April, the British Embassy in Berlin accused the guard D.S. to spy for Russia, for which a criminal complaint was filed against him. The UK national was arrested by German police on August 10th. He was accused for seven offences of collecting information with the intent of sending it to the Russian authorities,
Intelligence chiefs warned two months ago that Russian espionage was on the rise in Europe and it is “blooming” in Switzerland.
“In addition to intelligence officers, numerous suspected sources and supporters of foreign intelligence services live and work in Geneva and its surroundings. It is known that retired and (officially) former foreign intelligence officers have also settled in Geneva and the surrounding area with their families,” the FIS report states.
On June 11, a man was arrested at Gatwick Airport on suspicion of espionage. The arrest followed a joint intelligence-led operation by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command – which deals with arrests for espionage matters – and the British security services.
The problem of Russian espionage is growing in the Balkans as well. In the last few years, more cases of espionage have been reported by local media especially in Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.