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Russian Fighter Buzzes U.S. Surveillance Plane Over Black Sea

Denis Tyrin / TASS

The United States condemned “unsafe Russian military practices” after a Russian Su-27 fighter flew within 5 feet of a U.S. surveillance airplane over the Black Sea on Monday.

Since 2014, NATO countries and Russia have reported numerous airspace violations by military aircraft in Eastern Europe. Russia’s Defense Ministry released footage last year of NATO F-16s buzzing a plane carrying Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as it flew over the Baltic Sea.

“This is but the latest example of Russian military activities disregarding international norms and agreements,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement Monday.

Nauert accused Russia of violating the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA), adding that the U.S. craft operated within international law.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the Russian fight jet was acting “in accordance with international standards,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The incident caused the U.S aircraft to experience “a 15-degree roll and violent turbulence,” Pentagon spokeswoman Michelle Baldanza told CNN.

“We call on Russia to cease these unsafe actions that increase the risk of miscalculation, danger to aircrew on both sides and midair collisions,” Nauert added.

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