Russian Federation says Su-27 fighter jet intercepted USA spy airplane; United States protests

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The US military should stop flying planes near the Russian borders or "agree on a set of rules for such flights", Russia's Defence Ministry has said in a statement today.

The U.S. Navy EP-3 was flying in worldwide airspace over the Black Sea when a Russian Su-27 intercepted the aircraft.

"While the US aircraft was operating under worldwide law, the Russian side was flagrantly violating existing agreements and global law, in this case the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA)", she said.

The incident on Monday was the latest of several alleged unsafe intercepts and maneuvers between United States and Russian fighter jets.

"The Russian fighter's maneuvers on January 29 were standard and absolutely legal and safe for the US surveillance plane", the ministry said.

The ministry added that another option for the Pentagon was "to issue new maps with correct Russian airspace borders to all the crews".

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The Russian Defense Ministry called the intercept "safe".

According to a statement from the US 6th Fleet, the Su-27 reportedly crossed directly into the flight path of the EP-3, "causing the EP-3 to fly through the [Su-27's] jet wash".

"The Russian military is within its right to operate within worldwide airspace, but they must behave with global standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents", the Navy statement said.

The U.S. State Department protested the maneuver as "an unsafe interaction". "Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions".

The Russian Defense Ministry reacted smugly to American complaints of Russian pilot behavior during a recent Russian intercept with an American reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, near the Russian mainland. "There is no margin for error and insufficient time or space for our aircrews to take corrective action", explained U.S. Navy Task Force 67 commander Capt. Bill Ellis. Facing backlash from its USA counterpart, the Russian Defense Ministry said Thursday it had acted well within its rights and that the Pentagon should get used to such incidents if US aircraft did not respect Russian boundaries.

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