The U.S. on Tuesday released dramatic video of a Russian fighter jet buzzing a Navy spy plane in the Black Sea Monday, the first unsafe incident of its kind since a close encounter nearby in November.
Fox News previously reported that the Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane was flying in international airspace at the time, according to the Pentagon.
A Russian Su-27 jet came within five feet of the U.S. military plane “crossing directly through the EP-3’s flight path,” according to a statement from the Navy’s 6th Fleet, causing the Navy jet to fly through the Russian jet’s wash.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Monday the United States views this incident of unsafe military practices with “the highest level of concern.”
Nauert said Russia’s military “flagrantly” violated international law and risked a midair collision. She called it “the latest example of Russian military activities disregarding international norms and agreements.”
The interaction lasted approximately two hours and 40 minutes, according to the statement from the Navy’s 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy. A spokesman for the U.S. Navy did not know how long the “unsafe” portion of the intercept lasted.
American and Russian jets routinely fly close to one another in the Black and Baltic Seas, but in a professional manner, according to the Pentagon.
“Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions,” the statement said. “The U.S. aircraft was operating in accordance with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.