It may not have been the first time, but that didn’t lessen the tension. Last Thursday there was a high-altitude confrontation between Russian and Italian fighters in the skies over the Baltic. However, the news was only recently released and NATO acted directly to clarify that no accident occurred but that, on the contrary, the pilots were professionals. But let’s start at the beginning: what really happened? According to what was found by Repubblica, NATO’s European air defense command issued an internal alarm after noticing that two Moscow Sukhoi were heading at full speed towards the borders of Warsaw. What made us suspicious was that the very fast jets had not communicated a flight plan, much less contacted air traffic control. They were, therefore, two “intruders” in an area with civil aircraft coming and going.
There was no time to waste and so two Italian Air Force F35s took off from the Polish base in Malbork with the task of intercepting Vladimir Putin’s fighter jet march. We then witnessed a chase at a thousand kilometers per hour, with the Italian F35s managing to flank and slowly identify the Russian planes. As mentioned, two Sukhoi 30 Flankers, considered among the best in service with the Moscow Air Force. It took the help of radio messages and optical signals to warn Soviet pilots to reverse course immediately to avoid unpleasant consequences. And, after a few minutes, the fighters returned to their starting base in Kaliningrad, kindly accompanied by F35s from the 32nd Wing of Amendola (Foggia), belonging to the Air Force, which had entered into operation just 48 hours earlier. As expected, NATO made a point of clarifying how “the meeting took place in a professional manner and the Russians did not penetrate Alliance airspace”. Danger avoided.
But we must be careful, as this is not the first similar circumstance. The Polish base in Malbork is the closest to Kaliningrad’s borders, just a five-minute flight away. And, not infrequently, it happens that flocks from Moscow take off without prior notice, creating a threat to commercial circulation. On several occasions they came extremely close to the Warsaw air traffic zone or even flew over NATO ships. In short, a clear provocation, yet another, which this time the Italian fleet dampened.
Source: IL Tempo
John Cameron is a journalist at The Nation View specializing in world news and current events, particularly in international politics and diplomacy. With expertise in international relations, he covers a range of topics including conflicts, politics and economic trends.