May 20, 2018

Russian Federation vows to DEFEND against U.S. planes flying towards border

02 February 2018, 09:09 | Rufus Hill

BREAKING: Russia vows to DEFEND against US planes flying towards border

Additional Video Released of U.S. Navy EP-3 Intercepted in the Black Sea | U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th

The statement was in response to the US Navy alleging that a Russian Su-27 came within five feet of an American spy plane on Monday over the Black Sea.

"Should American pilots, knowing this fact, fall into depression or succumb to any phobias, we advise the USA side to exclude these flight routes near Russia's borders in the future, or return to the negotiating table and agree on their rules", said the defense ministry, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

The Russian Defense Ministry warned the U.S. military on Thursday to either stop flying near its borders or to "agree on their rules", according to state-owned media TASS.

The US Navy claimed that the interception was unsafe, because the Sukhoi-27 approached the EP-3 as close as five feet (about 1.5 meters) and then crossed the plane's flight path, after which the EP-3 had to overcome turbulence created by the Sukhoi-27's engines.

Washington says a Russian Su-27 engaged in an "unsafe interaction", coming within 1.5 meters of the USA plane and crossing directly in front of it.

"The Aerospace Force will continue to maintain reliable protection of Russia's airspace", the Russian Defense Ministry said, according to TASS, a Russian news agency.

Russian Federation said that the incident was an escort - not an intercept.

The US Navy released the first video on Tuesday, and five more on Wednesday.

The incident is the latest in a string of what the Navy says are unsafe incidents in the air over the Black Sea following Russia's 2014 forced annexation of Crimea. The United States, along with most of the worldwide community, does not recognize Crimea as Russian territory, holding firm that the annexation was illegal.

"We would like to address the commander of Task Force 67 of the 6th Fleet, [Captain] Bill Ellis, with a reminder that Crimea is an integral part of Russia", the Russian media reports cited the Defense Ministry as saying. "The maneuvers of the Russian fighter jet on January 29 were standard, absolutely legal and absolutely safe for the US EP-3 Aries II reconnaissance plane". The smallest lapse of focus or error in airmanship by the intercepting aircrew can have disastrous consequences.

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