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Pentagon Slams Russian Intercept of US Spy Plane

  • VOA News

FILE: A U.S. Air Force RC-135U spy plane.

FILE: A U.S. Air Force RC-135U spy plane.

The Pentagon is protesting the Russian intercept of one of its reconnaissance planes flying in international airspace over the Baltic Sea, calling it "unsafe" and "an example of sloppy airmanship."

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said Monday the incident occurred last Tuesday, when a U.S. RC-135U plane was flying north of Poland and was approached from the rear by a Russian SU-27 fighter flying at a high rate of speed. He said the Russian plane crossed in front of the American jet and tilted to show off its weapons.

Warren said it was "not certain why this (Russian) pilot was such a sloppy aviator" and that it "could be that he wasn't very well trained." He said it was unacceptable for the Russian aviator to "flagrantly disregard international standards of safety and professionalism."

Moscow has denied that its pilot did anything wrong.

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