UK forces were moments away from being sent to confront Russian troops over a race to Pristina airport in Kosovo on Friday.

In what nearly became the biggest confrontation since the end of the Cold War, elite Parachute Regiment troops and Gurkhas were put on standby to fly into Pristina airport to prevent Russian units from landing. "For a while there was a very dangerous situation looming," said a senior military source.

Contributing to the military and political dilemma was that some Yugoslavian MiG fighters were still at Pristina airport long after they should have left.

Last night the Russians continued to control the airport, manning strategic checkpoints in a stand-off with Nato troops.

Source: Flight Daily News