News / USA

US Condemns Russian Jet Passes Near Ship in Black Sea

The USS Donald Cook is docked in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, April 14, 2014.
The USS Donald Cook is docked in the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, April 14, 2014.
The Pentagon says a Russian SU-24 fighter aircraft made 12 low-altitude, close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea over the weekend.

U.S. defense officials say the Russian jet had no missiles and did not respond to attempts to communicate during the passes which lasted 90 minutes.

A U.S. military official said the Russian jet came within one mile of the U.S. vessel, flying at times below 500 feet.

"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries,'' Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.

At the time the passes took place, Warren said, the U.S. ship was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea. It is now in a Romanian port.  Warren said that the U.S, ship was never in danger.

A U.S, military official confirmed another ship will go to Black Sea after the USS Donald Cook departs the region. The official said the new ship will be a frigate, not a destroyer like USS Donald Cook. The timing of the switch is uncertain, the official said.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

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