Russia-Belarus incident may still escalate: EU

"Well, the risk always exists, the risk of an escalation always exists. It may happen that the whole of air traffic control can be disturbed, or it's just a couple of individual cases. We are looking at that." Borrell told reporters ahead of an EU defence ministers meeting in Lisbon.

The incident in Russia comes days after Belarus scrambled a fighter and used a false bomb alert to divert a Ryanair flight to Minsk and detain a dissident Belarusian journalist.

The plane, travelling from Athens to Vilnius, was almost in Lithuanian airspace when ordered to land.