THE RAF is preparing six Typhoon super-jets bound to Romania at a time of skyhigh tensions – with Russia deploying troops to the Ukrainian border, according to reports.
By MELANIE KAIDANPUBLISHED: 03:44, Tue, Apr 13, 2021 | UPDATED: 11:08, Tue, Apr 13, 2021
UK defence bosses have announced the RAF jets are set to fly to eastern Europe in a bid to patrol the air space surrounding the Black Sea. Along with the Typhoons, troops from the RAF’s No 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron and No 2 Mechanical Transport Squadron will leave UK bases this week.
The Ministry of Defence maintains the flights are a routine procedure despite the growing tensions in the region.
The mission is part of an annual Nato air patrolling activity, Operation Biloxi.
The Ministry of Defence said: “Operation Biloxi is a long-planned deployment of RAF Typhoons to Romania in support of the Nato Southern Air Policing mission to monitor the airspace of our ally.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian President Vladimir Putin had not responded to his invitation to talk over the phone.
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War fears explode as RAF jets prepare to fly to Romania amid Russia threat (Image: Getty)
Mr Zelensky’s spokesperson Iuliia Mendel, confirmed the invitation, which made on March 26, had not been acknowledged.
She said on Monday: “The request has been forwarded from the office of the president of Ukraine to the office of Vladimir Putin to have a conversation, a telephone talk.
“And we have not received an answer yet.
“The office of the president of Ukraine hopes that it doesn’t mean that Vladimir Putin refuses to have a dialogue with Ukraine.”
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has sparked fears among analysts, with one pointing out that the relations were “looking increasingly fragile” since 2021 began.
Vladimir Putin has not responded to Ukraine’s calls to talk, according to Mr Zelenky’s spokesperson (Image: Getty)
Eastern Europe Analyst at The EIU, Matthew Sherwood, told Express.co.uk: “The conflict goes back to 2014 when Russia invaded and illegally annexed the Crimea peninsula.
“This was followed a few weeks later by fighting in the Donbas region of Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and separatists backed by Russia.
“Both events occurred after Ukraine’s Euromaidan Revolution (2013-14) that saw the ousting of the pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovich, who now lives in exile in Russia.
“After many years of conflict, the various parties agreed to a ceasefire in July 2020, which has been largely holding but looking increasingly fragile since the beginning of the year.” (Click to Source)
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