The special attention that the U.S. military has given to the interception of a reconnaissance aircraft at the borders of Russia is associated with attempts to “stir up Russophobic sentiments” in the media, stated the Russian Foreign Ministry in its comments regarding accusations of the dangerous interception of an American aircraft off the coast of Crimea on January 29.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Ministry of Defense had already provided all the necessary explanations in connection with the accusations. “We have paid attention to continuing attempts by American partners to cause a stir about what is, broadly speaking, routine incidents of mutual escorting. We are watching this attempt to stir up Russophobic sentiments in the media and accuse Russia of aggressive actions. We can only say that such a practice is hardly compatible with the desire to solve the problems that arise in a civilized manner,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
The Foreign Ministry mentioned that an agreement has been in place between Russia and the United States since 1972 to prevent incidents on the high seas and the airspace above them. Moscow suggested that Washington “precisely clarify its position with the goal of defining the minimum allowed distances between military aircraft, but each time the Americans walked away from the conversation,” said the ministry.
The incident involving the aircraft of the two countries occurred over the Black Sea on January 29. A Russian Su-27 intercepted a U.S. P-3 Orion patrol aircraft, at one point coming as close as 1.5 meters. A video recording of the incident was made public by the Pentagon. Washington accused Russia of intercepting the aircraft. In response, the Russian Defense Ministry offered to issue American pilots maps “with Russian airspace borders correctly labeled on them.”