Russian fighter jet buzzes US military spy plane over Baltic Sea, officials say

A Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. military spy plane in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday morning, two defense officials told Fox News.

The Russian Su-27 jet performed a “safe” but “unprofessional” intercept of a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance plane while flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea.

The Russian jet came within about 20 feet of the U.S. Navy aircraft, but the American pilots told officials they never felt threatened or unsafe.

A Russian fighter jet SU-27 flies over the sea off the Japanese northern island of Hokkaido, in this handout photo taken February 7, 2013 by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan. Two Russian fighter jets briefly entered Japan's air space near disputed islands and the northern island of Hokkaido on Thursday, prompting Japan to scramble combat fighters and lodge a protest, Japan's Foreign Ministry said. REUTERS/Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/Handout (JAPAN - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - GM1E9280STK01

A Russian Su-27 fighter as seen in this handout photo, which buzzed a U.S. military spy plane in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday.  (Reuters)

It’s the first incident between Russian and American military aircraft since January, when a Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Navy EP-3 spy plane over the Black Sea.

In that incident, the 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. The encounter was so close it caused the Navy jet to fly through the Russian jet’s wash.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at the time 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. 

US RELEASES RAW VIDEO OF RUSSIAN FIGHTER JET BUZZING NAVY PLANE IN INTERNATIONAL AIRSPACE

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.

Tensions with Russia were ratcheted up over the weekend, when the country's foreign minister claimed the U.S. is trying to divide Syria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews