Russian Air Force once again found itself in the center of a scandal. After intercepting an American RC-135U scout plane by a Russian Su-27 fighter over the Baltic region, there is a high probability of increased tensions between the two countries, says Mark Wright, a spokesman for the Pentagon, Joinfo.ua informs with reference to Associated Press.
"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," says Wright.
He stressed that the active flights of the Russian aviation take place amid the changing security environment in connection with the aggression of Russia towards Ukraine.
Eileen Lainez, an official spokesperson for the Pentagon, informed that "on the morning of April 7th, a U.S. RC-135U flying a routine route in international airspace was intercepted by a Russian Su-27 Flanker in an unsafe and unprofessional manner."
Thus, the Russian fighter approached the naked American scout plane at a distance of 20 feet (about six meters). This maneuver was dangerous for the life of the crew due to a possible collision of the aircraft.
In this regard, the U.S. asks Russia to respond through diplomatic and official channels.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that the flight of Su-27 did not cause any danger. They noted that "no emergency situation was reported during the fly-by of the American reconnaissance aircraft."
"As to the judgement about the professionalism of Russian pilots, this is up to the Russian side, and the US reconnaissance aircraft can only perform routine fights near the U.S. borders," said Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
According to Konashenkov, "at 1:18 p.m. Moscow time on April 7, 2015, air defense forces on duty detected an unidentified aerial target over the Baltic Sea, which was confidently moving toward the Russian state border."
The Russian Su-27 fighter was scrambled, it approached the unidentified aircraft, flew it around several times, identified it as a reconnaissance aircraft of the U.S. Air Force, read its side number, and reported it the command. After having been intercepted by the Russian fighter, the U.S. Air Force aircraft changed its course and moved away from the Russian border.