Russian airspace violations surge

World powers are reporting surges in airspace violations and instances where aircraft are scrambled to intercept foreign jets, amid a sharp rise in geopolitical tensions in Europe and Asia. Nato member aircraft were forced to conduct more than 500 scrambles over Europe in 2014 – a fourfold increase on the previous year. Nearly 85% of these were to intercept Russian aircraft. This year, there have already been more than 300 scrambles, according to data provided by Nato to the Guardian. These are some of the highest numbers since the end of the cold war. Russia alleges that Nato sorties near its borders doubled last year. Nato called the claim “deliberately vague”. Elsewhere, Japan has been scrambling aircraft in record numbers because of Chinese activity. Airspace violations by Turkish aircraft over Greek waters increased three and a half times last year compared with the previous two years”.

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