A US warship, the USS Ross, was buzzed by Russian military aircraft in the Black Sea. The Russian planes were “acting aggressively” on Saturday when they were scrambled to head off the American ship, state news agency RIA maintains. The Pentagon has denied the occurrence of any “unusual behavior.”
An anonymous Russian military source in Crimea said that the USS Ross, a guided missile destroyer, was moving along the edge of territorial waters controlled by Russia, the RIA report claims.
“The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” the Russian military source reportedly added. “Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.”
“The U.S. Navy operates routinely in the Black Sea, in accordance with international law,” Pentagon representative Eileen Lainez said about the US warship, the USS Ross, adding that the vessel was “well within international waters at all times, performing routine operations.”
Army Colonel Steve Warren of the Defense Department, said the Russian media has “hyped” the flyby.
“The Russian planes were naked. In other words, no weapons aboard, no weapons on her wings. The USS Ross never changed course, he added, and nobody on board or at U.S. Navy Europe headquarters assessed the jets’ actions as threatening. The jets came within 500 meters of the destroyer, flying at an altitude of roughly 200 feet. This was just two groups operating in international airspace. We do not assess it was in any way aggressive. This was simply a ship and a plane passing – in the day, in this case.”
In May, the United States said a complaint would be sent to Russia over a Russian fighter’s “sloppy” and “unsafe interception” of an American reconnaissance plane over the Baltic Sea in international airspace. The US warship, USS Ross, being buzzed by Russian military aircraft is just the most recent of tense encounters between Western military vessels and Russia. The angst is reportedly due to the crisis in Ukraine and increased Russian military activity in the Baltic Sea region.
What do you think about the US warship being buzzed by Russian aircraft? Could the tensions in the Baltic Sea region due to the ongoing conflict in Crimea and the Ukraine spark World War 3?
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