The US Defense Department has released unusual pictures of a Russian jet intercepting a US bomber capable of carrying a nuclear weapon and two other US airplanes over the Baltic Sea.

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The US Air Force released usual photos today (Saturday) of a Russian SU-27 jet intercepting an American B-52 strategic bomber and two other US aircraft. The jet identified the aircraft and escorted them until they changed their course and flew away from the area.

The incident happened during NATO’s Baltic Operations exercise, which has been running annually since 1972 in this sensitive region close to the Russian border.

A Russian foreign ministry senior official said the incident will not help to ease tensions between the West and Moscow and claimed that the Russian jet identified the aircraft and escorted them away from a safe distance.