02 February, 2018
Repeating Moscow's claim that Crimea is now part of Russia and addressing a top U.S. Naval officer in the area, the ministry mockingly said that U.S. pilots flying in the area should expect to encounter Russian warplanes rather than Ukrainian ones.
A frame grab taken from a handout video provided by the U.S. Navy shows the view from a U.S. EP-3 Aries aircraft being intercepted by a Russian SU-27 fighter jet in what the Pentagon claims was global airspace over the Black Sea, on January 29.
The statement was in response to the US Navy alleging that a Russian Su-27 came within five feet of an American spy plane on Monday over the Black Sea.
The Defense Ministry said when the U.S. surveillance plane set course away from the Russian border, the Sukhoi-27 jet returned to the base.
"Similar maneuvers by NATO planes near Russia's Aerospace Force planes over the Baltic, Barents, Norwegian and North seas cause absolutely no effects on Russian crews", the ministry added. That said and given the risks involved, the question remains did is Russian Federation violating worldwide laws?
According to a statement from the USA 6th Fleet, the Su-27 reportedly crossed directly into the flight path of the EP-3, "causing the EP-3 to fly through the [Su-27's] jet wash".More news: Reporter Asks Jamie Vardy About Chelsea Move, He Responds Brilliantly
Monday's intercept is the latest in a string of "unsafe" intercepts that the Russian military has conducted. That "buzzing", or intercept, lasted for 2 hours and 40 minutes, officials have said.
The U.S. State Department protested the maneuver as "an unsafe interaction".
The Russian defense ministry shrugged off the complaint and chided the USA over its concern.
Nauert says Russia's military "flagrantly" violated worldwide law and risked a midair collision. The United States, along with most of the worldwide community, does not recognize Crimea as Russian territory, holding firm that the annexation was illegal.
"These videos show the Russian Su-27 intercepting the EP-3 from a very close position, at the same altitude, and with an estimated wingtip-to-wingtip horizontal separation as little as five feet at times", said U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Ellis, Commander of Task Force 67.