Russian Su-27 jet performed an unsafe intercept of a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea Monday, three defense officials told CNN.
The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within 5 feet ( 1.5 meters) of the US plane, according to two of the officials.
The Russian jet’s action forced the US Navy aircraft to end its mission prematurely, one of the officials said.
The US State Department issued a statement late Monday accusing the Russians of “flagrantly violating existing agreements and international law.”
“This is but the latest example of Russian military activities disregarding international norms and agreements,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in the statement. “We call on Russia to cease these unsafe actions that increase the risk of miscalculation, danger to aircrew on both sides, and midair collisions.”