The Frontex mission has suspended its patrol activities over the Black Sea following a dangerous incident involving a Polish aircraft and a Russian fighter jet.
[Frontex is a centre of excellence for border control activities at the EU's external borders, sharing intelligence and expertise with all Member States and with neighbouring non-EU countries affected by migratory trends and cross-border crime – ed.]
Source: European Pravda, citing RMF FM, a Polish radio station.
Details: Frontex suspended its flights until Romania – the country in charge of Frontex’s Black Sea operations – can guarantee the security of the airspace.
On Friday, a Russian Su-35 jet dangerously intercepted Polish Border Guard Service’s L410 TURBOLET aircraft, which was conducting a routine patrol mission in international airspace over the Black Sea under the auspices of Frontex and in cooperation with Romanian services.
Anna Michalska, spokeswoman for the Polish Border Guard Service, said that a "twin-engine Russian Su-35 fighter jet flew into the operational zone designated by Romania without any radio contact, after which it performed aggressive and dangerous manoeuvres, closely approaching the Polish aircraft three times and violating safe separation standards".
The incident caused the Polish aircraft to experience severe turbulence. During the incident, the five members of the plane’s crew temporarily lost control of the aircraft and began to lose altitude.
The Russian fighter jet also flew right in front of the border guards’ plane, crossing its flight path at a dangerous distance, which the crew estimated to be about five metres.
NATO combat aircraft were alerted to the incident.
Piotr Müller, spokesperson for the Polish government, has commented on the interception of the Polish border guard aircraft by a Russian fighter jet, saying it was a planned provocation.