Russian jet buzzed American spy plane over Black Sea, US says

Thursday, 01 Feb, 2018

The U.S. State Department issued a statement Monday evening that noted the incident "with the highest level of concern" and said Russian Federation "was flagrantly violating existing agreements and global law".

It's the first unsafe incident between the Russian and American jets since November.

A number of similar incidents between US and Russian military aircraft have also occurred over the Baltic Sea in recent years. In December, the United Kingdom's military warned that Russian vessels may be trolling communications and internet cables that run along the ocean floor in several corners of the world.

The encounter lasted two hours and 40 minutes.

The incident occurred on Monday, while Moscow scrambled the Su-27 in response to unidentified flying object which was headed for the Russian border. This created "violent turbulence" and put the Poseidon into a 15-degree roll, said Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Cl. Michelle Baldanza.

Officials said the armed fighter jet approached the US Air Force RC-135 recon jet "rapidly" in the Baltic Sea on Sunday, Fox News reports.

"The crew of the fighter followed [the US plane], avoiding the violation of the airspace of the Russian Federation with observance of all necessary security measures", the Defense Ministry said.

And in Syria in December, US F-22 planes intercepted Russian attack jets after they flew over the "de-confliction" line meant to ensure safety. The US Aircraft had to fire flares as warnings to the Russian jets, one of which "had to aggressively maneuver to avoid a midair collision". The spokeswoman for the Pentagon said the USA aircraft "did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior".

A Russian jet intercepted a US spy plane over global airspace over the Black Sea on Monday, though Moscow disputed the Pentagon's characterization of the engagement as "unsafe". In May 2017, a Russian jet came within 20 feet of a US spy plane over the body of water. The collision caused an global incident after the Chinese J-8IIM crashed and its pilot was killed.

The EP-3 Aries is an unarmed surveillance aircraft that was reportedly conducting routine operations over worldwide waters at the time of the intercept.

The statement signals a shift in Trump administration policy toward Russian attempts at aerial coercion. It might also be helpful if our military concentrated on defending the United States instead of being spread around the world in areas that are not germane to our own national defense. "Americans have nothing to do in the Black Sea".