France Reports Russian Threats Against NATO Plane

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.23 - 2024 1:16 PM CET

Photo: M. J. J. de Vaan /
Photo: M. J. J. de Vaan /
French Defense Minister reports aggressive Russian threats against a French NATO plane in international airspace.

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The French Defense Minister, Sebastien Lecornu, reported a serious incident where the Russian military threatened to shoot down a French plane over the Black Sea while it was on a NATO patrol.

He assured that the plane was flying in international waters and did not enter Russian airspace.

Colonel Pierre Gaudillier, a French military official, explained that this tense situation happened in mid-November when their Air Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft was threatened by Russia.

Gaudillier described the situation as, “The Russians threatened him on the radio... This was a particularly aggressive radio exchange,” marking it as the first occurrence of such an incident.

Russian Military Posturing Near French Waters

In another provocative act, Lecornu pointed out that the Russian submarine "Krasnodar" anchored near French territorial waters in the Bay of the Seine a few months ago, seemingly to intimidate France.

This event was reported by L'independent and took place near France's western coast in October of the previous year.

Lecornu pointed out a shift in Russia's military behavior, towards a more aggressive stance reminiscent of Soviet-era postures.

He stressed the importance of Ukraine's victory for European security and assured continued French support for Kyiv.

France's Assistance to Ukraine

France has been a steady supporter of Ukraine, offering financial and military aid since the onset of the conflict with Russia.

By last November, France had contributed €3.2 billion in aid to Ukraine.

Following the lead of the UK and Germany, France also agreed to provide Ukraine with security guarantees, including €3 billion in assistance for the current year.

However, there are challenges in reallocating funds within the French budget to support Ukraine without formal budget amendments.

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