WORLD War Three fears are growing after Russian nuclear submarines were spotted sailing through the Baltic Sea as the US takes part in war games in the Black Sea.
A Russian Oscar-II Class nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine was spotted entering the Baltic Sea on Monday, The Telegraph reports.
It passed under the Great Belt Bridge, which spans the entrance to the Baltic, at about 8.50am local time.
And two other nuclear-powered submarines were also seen.
At the same time, US commanders said naval ship Yuma has “transited into the Black Sea to operate with NATO allies and partners” until July 10.
According to RT, the US ship will take part in “Sea Breeze” exercises with 32 nations, including Ukraine, the UK, France, Poland, Georgia, Senegal, South Korea, Pakistan, Japan and Morocco.
US military chiefs said the drills will include “multiple warfare areas including amphibious warfare, land maneuver warfare, diving operations, maritime interdiction operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue operations”.
As both countries wander the oceans, Moscow said the war games in the Black Sea pose a real risk for potential escalations in military tensions, according to reports.
The Russian submarines in the Baltic Sea are set to attend a naval event in St Petersburg on July 25.
HI Sutton, a defence analyst, told The Telegraph: “Russia has been sending nuclear submarines to the naval parade in St Petersburg for several years, but this is the first time three submarines have been sent.
“They are the only nuclear submarines in the Baltic. These deployments act as a show of strength for both home and foreign audiences.
“NATO and unaligned Baltic States will likely keep a careful eye on this submarine.”
It comes just two weeks after a Russian coastguard boat barked “change your course or I’ll fire” at a massive Brit warship during a farcical face-off in the Black Sea.
HMS Defender was off Crimea in international waters when the 8,500-ton ship – armed to the teeth with hi-tech weapons systems – was confronted by the smaller vessel bellowing out its demands.
Russian warplanes were then called up join in and buzzed the Type-45 destroyer with four bombs dropped onto its path.
The BBC reported that more than 20 aircraft were overhead the HMS Defender with two Russian coastguard boats just 100m away at times.
The Russian vessel opened fire twice – once at 12.06pm and again at 12.08pm – before the planes were ordered in.
And in a sign of rising tensions, Russia deployed fighter jets over the Black Sea on Wednesday after a US spy plane was spotted.
Russia claims two Su-30 fighters prevented a Boeing P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine patrol aircraft of the US Navy from entering its airspace.
A video was released showing the aerial standoff, but the precise location was not disclosed.
“On the evening of July 6, Russian airspace control devices over the neutral waters of the Black Sea detected an air target approaching the state border of the Russian Federation,” the defence ministry in Moscow said on Wednesday.