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News > World

US Accuses Russia of the 'Most Aggressive' Recent Interaction

  • Russian warplanes flew too close to a U.S. warship causing outrage in Washington.

    Russian warplanes flew too close to a U.S. warship causing outrage in Washington. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 April 2016

A U.S. military official told Reuters that Russian war planes flew as close as

Two Russian warplanes flew simulated attack passes near a U.S. guided missile destroyer in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, the U.S. military said late Wednesday, with one official describing them as one of the most aggressive interactions in recent memory.

The repeated flights by the Sukhoi SU-24 warplanes, which also flew near the ship a day earlier, were so close they created wake in the water, with 11 passes, the official said on Wednesday. The planes carried no visible weaponry, the official said.

A Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter also made seven passes around the USS Donald Cook, taking pictures. The nearest Russian territory was about 70 nautical miles away in its enclave of Kaliningrad, which sits between Lithuania and Poland.

The events were reminiscent of the Cold War, when a series of close calls led to a bilateral agreement aimed at avoiding dangerous interactions at sea that was signed in 1972 by then-Secretary of the Navy John Warner and Soviet Admiral Sergei Gorshkov.

The agreement prohibited "simulated attacks against aircraft or ships, performing aerobatics over ships, or dropping hazardous objects near them."

The incident came as NATO plans its biggest build-up in eastern Europe since the Cold War to counter what the alliance, and in particular the three Baltic states and Poland, consider to be a more aggressive Russia.

The Donald Cook happened to be around 70km (43 miles) away from a Russian naval base when the Su-24 planes passed by, according to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov.

The minister assured that their planes did not commit any violation to international law.

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