PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, July 23 (RIA Novosti)
A U.S. F-16 Falcon fighter crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Russia’s Kuril Islands on Sunday, a spokesman for the Russian Border Guard Service in the Far East said.
“The Kamchatsky territorial naval rescue center reported at 8:30 p.m. local time [8:30 a.m. GMT] that an aircraft was in distress over the Pacific Ocean near the northern Kurils,” the spokesman said.
It turned out later, he said, that the aircraft was a U.S. Air Force F-16 Falcon fighter.
“The pilot ejected before the crash and was later rescued by a Japanese vessel, the Hokko Maru,” he added.
The pilot was later handed over to a United States merchant vessel on Monday and is in a stable condition, the US Navy said on its website.
F-16.net website reported that the jet belonged to the 35th Fighter Wing and was en route from Misawa air base in Japan to Alaska, when it crashed some 200 miles northeast of Japan’s Hokkaido.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.