(GPA) Black Sea – U.S. officials are outraged again after another military operation in the Black Sea has been intercepted by Russian jets. This follows the interception and buzzing of the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea in April.
This time a US Navy P-8 Poseidon was flying a “routine operation” in international airspace over the Black Sea and was intercepted for a total of 19 minutes by a Russian Su-27 Flanker. At one point the Russian jet came within ten feet of the US plane.
The US jet was within forty miles of the Russian coast but this doesn’t stop US officials from considering this some kind of Russian aggression. US Navy Captain Jeff A. Davis claimed the “[Russian interception has] the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions.”
The Russian plane’s transponder was not on but the Russian government says this is routine to help make identification of their aircraft easier for other pilots in the area. Russian officials also commented that the actions taken today didn’t violate any international law.
It’s hard to say if anything will really come of this event (as nothing really came out of the USS Donald Cook incident) but it is fair to say that the US will continue operating in close proximity to Russia regardless. The US may call this an act of Russian aggression but they won’t acknowledge how close they constantly operate to Russia’s borders. Whatever Russian intentions may be; the US accusing them of escalating tension is laughable considering how close their spy planes are operating to the territory of a country they aren’t involved in any type of open conflict with.