The Pentagon has called out Russia’s moves against its U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, saying that it is “unsafe and unprofessional.” The supposed aerial provocation happened last Monday when Russian Su-27 jet fighter flew close – around 20 feet – the United States aircraft.
“On Jan. 25 an RC-135 aircraft flying a routine route in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 in an unsafe and unprofessional manner,” The Washington Free Beacon quoted Navy Capt. Daniel Hernandez, chief spokesman for the U.S. European Command. “We are looking into the issue,” the official added.
According to defense officials, Russia’s Su-27 flew near the RC-135 which was an electronic intelligence-gathering aircraft. The officials noted that the fighter jet performed an aggressive banking turn away from the US plane. This in turn disrupted the controllability of the intelligence jet. Another official claimed that the United States jet was around 30 miles from the coast which means it did not violate any airspace. It was also far from the Russian territory.
This is not the only incident linked to Russian provocation. Russian Tu-95 bombers also mobilized near Guam where a known major US military hub is located. “Much of what Russia is doing today is aimed at generating fear of Russian military power and the possibility of war,” explained former Pentagon Russia expert Mark Schneider. “That is broadcast on a daily basis in the state media and through Russian military actions. Provocations involving aircraft are now common place. Russia also tends to be paranoid concerning foreign espionage and the protection of state secrets,” added the official.
The relation between the United States and Russia at present is very complicated. While the two nations are overly careful against each other’s respective moves, they are trying their best to coordinate airstrikes in Syria. On January 28, respective military officials from both countries discussed measures to achieve operational safety for their airstrikes against the ISIS in Syria. The discussion included means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.
including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity.