Russia Intercepts French Warplanes Over Black Sea

French planes approached Russian border

Russia’s Defense Ministry has reported the interception of three French warplanes over the Black Sea. The planes were over international waters but were approaching Russia’s border at the time.

Russian Su-27 fighters scrambled and intercepted the French planes, which turned around. There appears to have been no direct confrontation between the planes.

Interceptions of US planes in the Black Sea were common throughout much of 2020, and as with this incident they all came with the suggestion that tensions are higher than at any point since the Cold War.

The tensions are a concern, but the real feature is French planes. Previous interceptions have virtually always been US planes, and it is noteworthy that France is choosing to set itself up to confront Russia this time.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.