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United States to keep conducting its surveillance flights near Russian borders

United States to keep conducting its surveillance flights near Russian borders

A Russian Su-27 fighter jet intercepted a US surveillance plane over the Black Sea on Monday, prompting the US State Department to protest the maneuver as "an unsafe interaction". Video appeared to show the Russian fighter jet noticeably close to the USA plane. The US said the Russian aircraft made a risky maneuver, coming as close as five feet from the American spy plane's right wingtip, and later crossing its path within 10 feet.

But today the Russian Defence Ministry has berated the United States in kind, vowing to "continue to provide robust defence of the borders of Russian airspace".

The Navy says the interaction between the two aircraft lasted about 40 minutes.

"The Aerospace Force will continue to maintain reliable protection of Russia's airspace", the defense ministry said, according to the Tass news agency. That said and given the risks involved, the question remains did is Russian Federation violating global laws?

Such incidents have added tension to Russia's relationship with the West, which has been severely strained by Moscow's takeover of Crimea, its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, and its alleged meddling in the USA election in 2016, among other things.

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The US has released several videos of the intercept, showing the Su-27 buzzing and hovering near the US spy plane.

Another U.S. Navy official statement said that the intercept was unsafe due to the proximity between aircraft.

In remarks cited by Russian media on February 1 - three days after the close encounter near Crimea, the peninsula that Russia seized from Ukraine in 2014 - the Defense Ministry contended that the US aircraft was in no danger.

Nauert says Russia's military "flagrantly" violated global law and risked a midair collision.

"These videos show the Russian Su-27 intercepting the EP-3 from a very close position, at the same altitude, and with an estimated wingtip-to-wingtip horizontal separation as little as five feet at times", said U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Ellis, Commander of Task Force 67. The smallest lapse of focus or error in airmanship by the intercepting aircrew can have disastrous consequences.

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