Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Russian jet 'flies 5ft from US spy plane' over Baltic Sea

A Russian jet flew within 5ft (1.5m) of a US reconnaissance plane's wing tip over the Baltic Sea on Monday, US officials say.

The encounter was deemed "unsafe" due to the Russian pilot's "high rate of closure speed and poor control of the aircraft", officials said.

But Russia disputes this, saying the US plane made a "provocative" move.

Meanwhile, a Russian plane carrying the defence minister was buzzed by a Nato jet, Russian media reports say.

The F-16 fighter jet was chased away by a Russian Su-27 military jet over the Baltic, according to the state-owned news agency Tass, which had a reporter on the plane.
It said minister Sergei Shoigu was en route to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad, over international waters, but it did not give further details.

The incidents come amid renewed tensions between Washington and Moscow, sparked by the US downing of a Syrian jet after it targeted American-allied rebels.

In response, Russia, an ally of the Syrian government, warned on Monday that US jets flying in Syria would be treated as targets. On Tuesday, the US military shot down an armed Iranian-made drone in Syria.

The first incident over the Baltic, on Monday, occurred 25 miles (40 km) from Kaliningrad, also over international waters.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters: "We were flying in international airspace and did nothing to provoke this behaviour."

BBC      News.

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