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Russians reject US gripe over jet flypasts

By PA Reporter

Published 15/04/2016

Russia has rejected complaints by US officials who claimed Russian attack planes had flown dangerously close to the US Navy destroyer Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea earlier this week.

The US European Command said the Russian planes had flown by multiple times on Monday and Tuesday in what the officials described as an unsafe and unprofessional manner and "simulated attack".

Major General Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, said the pilots of Russian Su-24 jets saw the ship and turned back "while using all measures of precaution".

Mr Konashenkov said he was baffled by what he described as the "distressed reaction of our American counterparts".

The US European Command said officials are using diplomatic channels to address the matter.

Tensions between the two countries have risen since Russia invaded the Crimea region and the wars in Ukraine and Syria.

Belfast Telegraph

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