State Dept. says Russia ‘flagrantly’ violated accord during aerial intercept of U.S. Navy plane

The State Department claimed in a statement this week following a Russian Su-27 intercept of a U.S. Navy P-3 surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea a ‘flagrant violation’ of existing international accords and law.

While the U.S. aircraft was operating under international law, the Russian side was flagrantly violating existing agreements and international law, in this case the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA),” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

She added that the Russian fighter violated a 1972 agreement when the Russian fighter passed dangerously close to the Navy plane.

“The United States notes with the highest level of concern the latest incident of unsafe Russian military practices over the Black Sea on Jan. 29,” she said.

U.S. military and diplomatic officials have said the intercept was highly dangerous and could have resulted in catastrophe if the Russian pilot had miscalculated only slightly.

“We call on Russia to cease these unsafe actions that increase the risk of miscalculation, danger to aircrew on both sides, and midair collisions,” Nauert added.

Moscow denied its pilot acted in a provocative manner, but U.S. Navy video footage shows otherwise. [source]

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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