By RYAN GORMAN
A Russian spy plane came dangerously close to colliding with a passenger jet, according to a London-based think-tank.
The 132-passenger SAS Airlines plane avoided the spy aircraft because the pilots responded before tragedy occurred, the European Leadership Network (ELN) claims.
An incident was avoided "thanks only to good visibility and the alertness of the passenger plane pilots," said the report.
The close call was one of at least 40 incidents between the Russian military, civilians and even Western militaries documented in the past few months since Russia took Crimea from Ukraine control, according to ELN.
Other ordeals included the bizarre hunt for a Russian submarine last month off the coast of Sweden, which many called a real-life "Hunt for Red October."
"Hunt for Red October" is a movie based on the Tom Clancy novel where a Russian nuclear sub went rogue during the Cold War.
Russian forces have also abducted an Estonian intelligence officer and further provoked the West through a series of actions.
Fighter jets from the former Soviet country flew dangerously close to the USS Cook, a U.S. Navy warship in the Black Sea.
The incidents have been confined mostly to the waters surrounding northern Europe, but two Russian bombers only 50 miles off the California coast resulted in F-22 fighter jets being scrambled by the U.S.
"Even though direct military confrontation has been avoided so far, the mix of more aggressive Russian posturing and the readiness of Western forces to show resolve increases the risk of unintended escalation and the danger of losing control over events," ELN concluded.
NATO forces have intercepted Russian aircraft over multiple countries including the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), Estonia, the Netherlands, Sweden and within miles of the coastlines of several countries including the United Kingdom, said ELN.
The Alaska ADIZ includes waters surrounding the northernmost state and Aleutian Islands.
"Russian actions have resulted so far in an unprecedented mobilization of NATO," the report said, adding that there has been little dialogue between the Kremlin and the West since March.
ELN urged all sides to exercise military and political restraint while increasing communication.
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