Russian fighter jets have been filmed 'buzzing' a US spy plane over the Black Sea in the latest standoff between Moscow and western powers in the contested region.
Footage released by the Russian Defence Ministry showed two Sukhoi Su-30 fighters flying close alongside a Boeing P-8 Poseidon of the US Navy on Tuesday evening.
The Kremlin said fighters were scrambled as the plane approached its airspace and blocked in from 'violating the state border'.
It did not say where precisely the intercept happened, though it is likely to have been close to Crimea - which Russia considers to be part of its territory but western powers say is Ukrainian territory that has been illegally occupied by Moscow's forces.
Then, on Wednesday, Russia said it is tracking a Spanish warship in the Black Sea amid joint Ukraine-NATO military exercises in the region which Moscow has condemned as a 'provocation'.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
It comes exactly two weeks after Russian warships and fighter jets shadowed British warship HMS Defender as it sailed close to the coast of Crimea, with Moscow claiming warning shots and bombs were fired as it was 'chased away'.
This is the moment Russian fighter jets 'buzzed' a US spy plane over the Black Sea after accusing it of approaching their airspace
Two Su-30 fighters were sent to intercept the Boeing P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance plane, claiming they blocked it from 'violating Russian airspace'
The British Navy denies that account, saying no shots were fired at the vessel - though admitted jets made low passes and Russian ships followed it as it sailed along the 'shortest route' from Odessa towards Georgia.
Speaking about Tuesday's standoff-in-the-skies, a Russian Defence Ministry spokesman said: 'On the evening of July 6, Russian airspace control devices over the neutral waters of the Black Sea detected an air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation.'
Two Su-30s were dispatched to identify the aircraft and prevent it entering Russian airspace, according to the Russians.
'The crews of Russian fighters identified the air target as a Boeing P-8 Poseidon and escorted it over the Black Sea.
'The flight of Russian aircraft was carried out in strict accordance with international rules for the use of airspace.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
'Violation of the state border of the Russian Federation was not allowed.'
There was no immediate comment from the US and no direct evidence that the plane had sought to