A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, a U.S. military official said Monday.
In the first public account of the incident, the official said the Russian Fencer flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, at about 500 feet above sea level. Ship commanders considered the actions provocative and inconsistent with international agreements, prompting the ship to issue several radio queries and warnings.
The US and Russia have for years had a bilateral agreement governing behavior during flybys and interceptions, specifically to reduce the risk of things getting out of hand. It appears the Russians have decided that those rules only apply to us.
While that’s likely true during an Obama administration, they may come to regret that stance later, should a US president ever be elected who possesses a spine.