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Russian Federation to USA pilots: 'Stay away if you can't handle intercepts'

02 February 2018, 09:15 | Katrina Lee

BREAKING: Russia vows to DEFEND against US planes flying towards border

Halt spy plane flights near our borders or agree on rules – Russia to US

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the US Navy's allegations on Monday, saying that it "took place in accordance with global rules of airspace use".

The incident, which reportedly lasted more than two and a half hours, occurred when a U.S. Navy EP-3E Aries II surveillance plane neared the Crimean Peninsula, a former Ukrainian territory controversially annexed by Russian Federation in 2014.

The US Navy has been conducting reconnaissance missions over the Black Sea at a high rate since the annexation of Crimea by Russian Federation in 2014.

Dramatic footage released by the US Navy shows the Russian fighter jet appearing to fly perilously close to the US aircraft over global airspace.

"While not shown in the released imagery, during the intercept, the Russian Su-27 executed a hard right-to-left turn from the US EP-3's right side with an excessive closure rate and came within five feet of the EP-3's right wingtip", the Navy said.

The Russian Defense Ministry warned the USA military on Thursday to either stop flying near its borders or to "agree on their rules".

Moscow is talking tough after being reprimanded by the United States over an "unsafe" incident in which a Russian military jet flew within 1.5 meters of a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the Black Sea.

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The US Navy made public several videos claiming they showed Russia's Sukhoi-27 flying next to its EP-3 plane over the Black Sea.

Nauert says Russia's military "flagrantly" violated global law and risked a midair collision.

"The Aerospace Force will continue to maintain reliable protection of Russia's airspace", the defense ministry said, according to the Tass news agency.

The U.S. State Department protested the maneuver as "an unsafe interaction".

"We have paid attention to continuing attempts by American partners to make a noise about what is broadly speaking routine incidents of mutual escorting", the ministry said in a commentary on Thursday.

"The smallest lapse of focus or error in airmanship by the intercepting aircrew can have disastrous consequences, Ellis said". "The maneuvers of the Russian fighter jet on January 29 were standard, absolutely legal and absolutely safe for the US EP-3 Aries II reconnaissance plane". "There is no margin for error and insufficient time or space for our aircrews to take corrective action".

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