US: Russia Jet Blew by Ours in 'Unsafe' Move

Washington is communicating concerns to Russia, officials say
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 13, 2015 10:49 AM CDT
The US is protesting an intercept of a reconnaissance plane by a Russian fighter jet last week, calling it "unsafe and unprofessional."   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

(Newser) – A Russian fighter jet flying over the Baltic Sea last week flew a little too near a US reconnaissance plane in what the Pentagon calls "an unsafe and unprofessional manner," USA Today reports. Now the US is taking up the matter with Russian authorities, US officials tweeted. "Unprofessional air intercepts have the potential to cause harm to all air crews involved. More importantly, the careless and unprofessional actions of a single pilot have the potential to escalate tensions between countries," says a Pentagon rep.

It's a matter of particular concern given the fact that "Russian air activity is expanding west into Europe and becoming more aggressive," the spokesman says, pointing to "the context of … Russia's aggression against Ukraine.'' The Russian plane was moving quickly when it came up behind the US aircraft, passing it twice, US officials say, per the Wall Street Journal. The exact distance between the two planes isn't clear, but it may have been as little as 20 feet, the Journal notes. A Russian military leader said the incident had involved "no emergency situations." A similar incident occurred between a Russian fighter jet and US reconnaissance plane a year ago this month, the AP reports.

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