According to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin supports the Russian Defense Ministry’s position on the incident earlier this week in which Russian Su-24 aircraft buzzed a US naval destroyer in the Baltic Sea, Eko Moskva reported.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the Kremlin maintain that the Su-24s flew over international waters and observed all safety precautions. "The principle of freedom of navigation for the US destroyer, which is staying in close proximity to a Russian naval base in the Baltic Sea, does at all not cancel the principle of freedom of flight for Russian aircraft," Russian Major General Igor Konashenkov stated.
US Secretary of State John Kerry in turn said that “under the rules of engagement… it could have been a shoot-down”.
The Su-24s reportedly made 11 passes over the USS Donald Cook earlier this week. On at least one occasion, an aircraft came within an estimated 10 meters of the naval destroyer. The incident occurred about 70 nautical miles from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.