London (AFP) - Britain scrambled fighter jets from an airbase in Scotland to intercept two Russian bombers approaching UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday.
The Russian planes flew from the direction of Norway and passed to the west of Britain's Shetland Islands, northeast of the mainland.
A Royal Air Force spokeswoman said: "Quick reaction alert Typhoon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted two Russian Blackjack bombers and escorted them while they were in the UK area of interest.
"At no point did the Russian aircraft enter UK territorial airspace."
Two aircraft were also launched from an airbase in eastern England as "precautionary measure" but were not required.
In December last year, British military officials held talks with their counterparts in Moscow over "incursions" of Russian aircraft around the UK.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the talks were aimed at finding ways of heading off any "miscalculation or accident".