Russia Intercepts US Aircraft Operating Over Mediterranean Sea Thrice in Three Hours
Calling the interaction 'irresponsible', the intercepted US 6th Fleet said they expect Russia to behave within the international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents.
File photo a Su-35 fighter aircraft. (Reuters)
Washington: A US aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted three times by a Russian fighter jet in three hours, according to the US 6th Fleet.
"On June 4, 2019, a US P-8A Poseidon aircraft flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea was intercepted by a Russian SU-35 three times over the course of 175 minutes," the 6th Fleet said in a statement on Tuesday.
The second of the three interactions "was determined to be unsafe" due to the Russian aircraft "conducting a high speed pass directly in front of the mission aircraft, which put our pilots and crew at risk," it was cited as saying by CNN. The American aircraft was maintaining international standards and "did not provoke this Russian activity", the statement said.
"While the Russian aircraft was operating in international airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. We expect them to behave within international standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents," the 6th Fleet wrote, adding that "unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and potential for mid-air collisions".
According to CNN, the last unsafe intercept by Russia occurred in November 2018 over the Black Sea. In that incident, a Russian SU-27 fighter jet sped directly in front of a US Navy plane and then made a second pass.
Passengers on the Navy plane reported turbulence during the first pass and vibrations from the second.
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