According to the ministry, the Russian bombers performed a seven-hour scheduled flight over neutral waters of the Baltic Sea.
"At certain sections of the rout, the Russian long-range aircraft were escorted by F-16 fighter jets of the Belgian, Danish and Polish air forces, Finnish F-18 fighter jets, and Swedish JAS-39 Gripen warplanes," the ministry said.
By now, the Russian bombers have returned to their home base, the ministry added.
Belgium’s air force said earlier that it had scrambled two fighter jets on Tuesday to escort Russian Tu-160 and Su-27 aircraft.
Some close ups of a Russian Blackjack from today's interception by the @BeAirForce. #DYK The Tupolev #TU160 Blackjack is a nuclear capable supersonic strategic bomber. It has a range of 12300 km and a maximum speed of twice the speed of sound. #NATO #BAP pic.twitter.com/Xp54adwPuI— Belgian Air Force (@BeAirForce) September 17, 2019
Russia’s defense ministry has repeatedly stressed that Russian warplanes fly over neutral waters in strict compliance with international rules of the use of airspace.