Russia Sends Jets to Eye U.S. Spy Planes
MOSCOW - The Russian Defense Ministry
said it deployed two fighters Saturday to track a U.S. spy plane
flying near the Russian border with neighboring Georgia.
Russian air defense systems locked on to the American U-2 plane
as it began its flight over the former Soviet republic of Georgia,
ministry spokesman Nikolai Deryabin was quoted as saying by Russian
"To prevent the possible breach of the Russian border, two
destroyers were sent up," Deryabin was quoted by the Interfax news
agency as saying.
It was not immediately clear what the plane was doing. The United
States has expressed concerns about the alleged presence of Islamic
militants linked to Osama bin Laden (news
sites)'s al-Qaida network in Georgia's rugged border region near
Russia's breakaway region of Chechnya (news
sites). The U.S. Embassy had no comment.
Deryabin said the U-2 spy plane flew about 12 to 19 miles from
Russia's border. He said this was the third time that Russian air
defense systems have spotted a U.S. spy plane along this route.
Deryabin said these incidents "cannot but arouse bewilderment and
worry from Russia's military leadership," the ITAR-Tass news agency
Georgia, an impoverished Caucasus Mountains nation eager to bind
itself closer to the West, has accepted Washington's help in forming
its own anti-terrorist units to fight the militants.
Would you recommend this story?
|Not at all 1