The EP-3 Aries aircraft was monitoring activity in Europe's Black Sea when it was intercepted by what United States officials describe as an "armed" Russian Su-27 fighter jet.
Also on Monday, a Pentagon spokesperson said that the Russian jet came "very, very close" to the U.S. EP-3 aircraft, adding that it made an additional pass after activating its afterburners to create more turbulence.
A Russian fighter jet came close to a USA reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea Monday, causing turbulence and vibrations for the crew.
The duration of the intercept was about 25 minutes, during which the Su-27 made two passes near the EP-3E aircraft.
The U.S. EP-3 Aries came out of Souda Bay, Greece, and was conducting routine operations.
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The US Navy released video of the incident which clearly shows the Su-27 sharply turning in front of the plane with its engines blaring. "We expect them to behave within worldwide standards set to ensure safety and to prevent incidents".
While the Russian military is within its right to exercise within worldwide airspace, this interaction was irresponsible. Experts consider here that the close maneuver of the Russian fighter could be a warning against the significant increase of American spy flights in the Black Sea area and the southern Krasnodar region.
The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with worldwide law and did not provoke this Russian activity.
The Russian embassy in Washington tweeted that the Russian crew was "preventing a violation of Russian airspace and followed all necessary safety procedures".
The Russian Defense ministry acknowledged the incident, insisting, however, that the Su-27 kept a safe distance from the EP-3.