France complains of Russian ‘threats’ to military

SpaceWar.com reports: “France’s air force pilots have been threatened with attack by Russian forces during patrol missions in international air space in a sign of rising tensions, French Defence Minister Sebastien Lecornu said Thursday.

Russia had tried to ‘take control’ of French air force and navy patrols, he told the broadcaster RTL, adding that Russia was ‘pushing the limits’ with such behaviour.

‘A Russian air traffic system threatened to shoot down French planes over the Black Sea’ that were patrolling in international airspace at the time, Lecornu said.

‘You have Russian operators threatening French pilots with the shooting down of their aircraft,’ he said.

The incident took place a ‘month ago’ but his ministry later said it had actually happened in November and involved a French AWACS aircraft specialising in airborne control and detection operations.

‘It was a particularly aggressive radio exchange,’ a ministry spokesperson said, calling such an intimidation attempt in that particular area was ‘a first’.

In a separate incident, a Russian warship was detected near the Bay of the Seine, an inlet of the English Channel on France’s Normandy coast, Lecornu said…”

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