A Russian fighter aircraft made repeated low-altitude, close-range passes near a U.S. ship in the Black Sea over the weekend, the Pentagon said on Monday, condemning the action at a time of heightened U.S.-Russian tensions over Ukraine.
"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries," said Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman.
Warren said a Russian Su-24 aircraft, or Fencer, made 12 passes at low altitude near the USS Donald Cook, a destroyer that has been in the Black Sea since April 10. It appeared to be unarmed, he told reporters.
The incident lasted 90 minutes and took place on Saturday evening while the U.S. ship was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea, Warren said. The ship is now in a Romanian port.
The Russian plane, accompanied by another Fencer that did not fly close to the U.S. ship, did not respond to multiple attempts by the Donald Cook to communicate with its pilot, he said.
Pentagon officials have not yet discussed the incident with the Russian government, Warren said.
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