Russia defends intercept of US reconnaissance plane over Baltic

By REUTERS
April 30, 2016 12:40

 
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MOSCOW - The Russian Defense Ministry said on Saturday it had sent a fighter plane on Friday to intercept a US aircraft approaching its border over the Baltic Sea because the American plane had turned off its transponder, which is needed for identification.

The Pentagon said the US Air Force RC-135 plane had been flying a routine route in international airspace and that the Russian SU-27 fighter had intercepted it in an "unsafe and unprofessional" way. CNN reported that the Russian jet had come within about 100 feet of the US plane and had performed a barrel roll.

"All flights of Russian planes are conducted in accordance with international regulations on the use of airspace," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

"The US Air Force has two solutions: either not to fly near our borders or to turn the transponder on for identification."

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