The U.S. is protesting an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a U.S. reconnaissance plane by a Russian fighter jet, over the Baltic Sea on April 7.
Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright on Sunday said that the U.S. was filing a complaint to Russia after the incident. Russian officials have however denied any wrongdoing on their pilot’s part, according to several news reports.
The U.S. RC-135U plane was flying in international airspace north of Poland when the Russian SU-27 fighter intercepted the U.S. aircraft at a high rate of speed from the rear, and then went on to conduct two more passes using “unsafe and unprofessional maneuvers” in close proximity.
“Unprofessional air intercepts have the potential to cause harm to all aircrews involved. More importantly, the careless actions of a single pilot have the potential to escalate tensions between countries,” Wright said.
“This air activity takes place in the context of a changed security environment in view of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” he said.