Russian fighter intercept of U.S. recon plane deemed 'unsafe'

News A Sukhoi Su-30MKI in flight at the Moscow Air Show in 2009

A P-8A Poseidon assigned to the "Skinny Dragons" of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 flies over the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), August 29, 2017.

The Russian fighter jet buzzed the US Navy reconnaissance plane at around 1pm local time (10:00 GMT) as it was flying over the neutral waters of the Black Sea, the ministry said.

A Russian Su-30 fighter jet buzzed a Navy reconnaissance plane flying in the Black Sea while conducting a routine patrol in worldwide airspace Saturday, an official told Fox News.

"After being identified by a Russian fighter jet, the US reconnaissance plane changed its route and set course away from Russia's airspace", it added.

"After Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea in 2014, Turkey has said the absence of a regional North Atlantic Treaty Organisation force in the Black Sea allows Moscow to shape the sea like "[almost] a Russian lake".

Once alongside, the Russian jet was "provocative" in its flight maneuvers and flying "erratically", according to another official.

In the report, a spokeswoman for Pentagon, Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza reportedly said: "The U.S. aircraft was operating in global airspace and did nothing to provoke this Russian behavior".

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Russian Federation has scrambled a Su-30 fighter jet after detecting an American Р8А Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, according to a Defense Ministry statement.

According to another US official, since June 2 there were more than 35 interactions between USA and Russian aircrafts in the Baltic Sea region but this particular incident was "notable" as it was considered as "unsafe" by the US military.

The Russian bombers, capable of executing a nuclear strike, were intercepted merely 80 miles away from the ship, said Navy officials.

The incident comes amid divisive rhetoric from Russian Federation, in which it likened U.S. service members operating in Syria to "occupying forces".

There are roughly 2,000 US troops on the ground in Syria, although the Pentagon acknowledges only 500.

According to a U.S. Navy official, the intercept took place for 24 minutes.

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