Russian Fighter Zooms 20 Feet From US Plane for 'Greeting' - NBC4 Washington
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Russian Fighter Zooms 20 Feet From US Plane for 'Greeting'

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    VCG via Getty Images, File
    This Nov. 11, 2014, file photo shows a Russian Su-27 performing at a Chinese air show.

    A U.S. Navy surveillance aircraft had a close encounter with a Russian fighter jet this week over the Black Sea, with the Russian plane coming within about 20 feet of the American one, NBC News reported.

    The P-8A Poseidon was "conducting routine operations in international airspace" Tuesday when a Russian Su-27 approached, a U.S. Naval Forces Europe spokeswoman said, adding the American plane's mission commander considered the interaction "safe and professional."

    Russia's Ministry of Defense said Friday in a statement that a jet "executed a 'greeting' maneuver" toward the American pilots, after being scrambled because of "an air target" approaching its border.

    While the American official noted that interactions between the two nations' aircraft and ships are routine, the U.S. military has deemed other encounters at greater distances unsafe and unprofessional.

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    (Published Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017)
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