It seemed not long ago that the US and Russia were on the same page until new confrontation in the Baltic Sea and rising tensions in Europe turned things around again. According to new reports, Russia just broke a military agreement with the United States as it threatens the West’s warplanes and naval exercise. Are relations going to be strained further?
In the previous week, the US called out Russia for “aggressively” and “dangerously” intercepting one of its planes. This is on top of maneuvering unsafely over an American destroyer in the Baltic. This is against what the two countries talked previously in the past year about a design or framework to prevent such things from happening. A memorandum was issued “Russian and American jets would stay a safe distance away from one another and communicate in English via recognized radio channels,” according to The Telegraph.
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However, Chatham House noted that Russia has regularly violated the agreement. When Russia was intervening against enemies of Bashar al-Assad’s regime on the ground, its air force also resulted to “aggressive and provocative maneuvers against Western aircraft in Syria.” This was also confirmed by Keir Giles, an associate fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House.
Russia has been tiptoeing with the West and the arrival of the US warplanes in November in Incirlik air base in southern Turkey was viewed as a threat to its air force. Thus, Giles added that Russian pilots “took the opportunity to practice aggressive maneuvering against US aircraft, including positioning for simulated attacks.”
In line with the rising tensions, Russia also took the time to warn the US about its U.S. naval destroyer sailing near Russia’s border in the Baltics. Moscow accused Washington of intimidation and said that its military will respond “all necessary measures” if further incidents would arise.
“This is about attempts to exercise military pressure on Russia,” Reuters quoted envoy, Alexander Grushko.
“We will take all necessary measures, precautions, to compensate for these attempts to use military force,” added the official.
United States, on the other hand, claimed that the guided missile destroyer USS Cook was doing its routinely operation near Poland when Russian jets threatened it.
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