President Obama did not raise Russian military provocations against a Navy warship and Air Force intelligence jet last week during a Monday phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House disclosed Monday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the president had “an intense discussion” by telephone with Putin, but not about two dangerous aerial actions by Russian warplanes.
The conversation instead was limited to Russian activities in Ukraine, where Moscow has militarily annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, and the conflict in Syria.
“We have ample opportunities to express our concerns about these kinds of provocative actions to the Russians and it did not necessitate a presidential level conversation,” Earnest told reporters at the White House.
Two Russian Su-24 jets buzzed the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea on April 14, flying dangerously close to the ship as it was conducting operations.
Two days later, a Russian Su-27 jet flew within 50 feet of an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft over the Baltic Sea and executed a barrel roll over the top of the jet in what the U.S. European Command said was an unsafe action that threatened the safety of the aircraft in international airspace.