Russia Army Says Flight over US Warship Was ‘Safe’

Russia Army Says Flight over US Warship Was ‘Safe’
Thu Apr 14, 2016 19:35:32

Russia says its aircraft observed all required safety measures when flying over a US warship in international waters of the Baltic Sea, dismissing claims of unsafe conduct.

"After detecting the ship within their visibility range, the Russian pilots diverted from it with all safety precautions," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Thursday.

The remarks were made after the US military officials claimed that Sukhoi Su-24 planes had multiple simulated attack passes on Monday and Tuesday near the US Donald Cook destroyer in neutral waters of the Baltic.

The US officials described the passes as unsafe and unprofessional.

"Frankly speaking, the reason behind such a painful reaction from our American colleagues is unclear,” said Konashenkov.

“Being present in the operational proximity of the Russian naval base of the Baltic Fleet, the US destroyer's freedom of navigation by no means cancels the principle of air navigation freedom of Russian airplanes."

The US Navy sent the Donald Cook to the Baltic Sea along with three other vessels last week "to boost security in Europe."

The Donald Cook had left the Polish port of Gdynia and was about 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea when the Russian jets made 20 passes of it, the US says.

US officials said the jets were flying within 915 meters (1,000 yards) from the destroyer at an altitude of just 30 meters (100 feet).

Washington believes the overflights breach a 1970s agreement which was designed to prevent unsafe incidents at sea.

The incident occurred as tensions are on the rise between the US and Russia over the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

S/SH 11

string(198) "[{"id":"1808099","sort":"3528935","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2016/04/14/alalam_635962305425076893_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Dramatic VIDEO Shows Russian jets Fly just 30 Feet over US Navy Warship"} ]"