Friday, September 07, 2007

UK - Tensions with Russia rise

A Typhoon shadows a Russian Bear-H in August

Tensions amongst British military experts have heightened after Russian planes came close to UK airspace for the third time this year. Four RAF Tornado jets were scrambled this week to intercept the formation of eight military planes. Earlier in the day, Norwegian F16s had been scrambled after the planes had come close to their airspace [BBC]. On Friday the 17th August this year, newly delivered Typhoon Eurofighters were scrambled after a Russian bomber flew close to British airspace over the North Atlantic Ocean [MoD / BBC]. Tensions have increased between the two countries over the last few months after Britain demanded the extradition of Andrei Lugovoi in connection with the death of Alexander Litvinenko last year [BBC]. He was poisoned with Polonium 210 in what was seen as a James Bond style assassination. Speaking on Sky News yesterday, Tim Marshall said the Russian bear had been woken a few years ago but now the “bear is beginning to growl”.

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