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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 19 February, 2020

Russian fighter jet 'came within five feet of US spy plane'

It’s not known how many US crew were on the plane.

Image: AP/PA Images

A US MILITARY official says a Russian fighter jet flew within several feet of a US reconnaissance plane in what the US says was an unsafe manoeuvre over the Baltic Sea.

Navy Captain Danny Hernandez says the Russian pilot was flying at a high rate of speed and had poor control of the aircraft.

Hernandez is a US European Command spokesman. He says the close encounter was unprovoked by the US aircraft. He says it’s not clear if there was any communication between the aircraft.

It’s not known how many US crew were on the plane.

Hernandez says the incident was on Monday when the US RC-135 was on a routine mission in international airspace.

Intercepts between US and Russian aircraft are common, and are generally not as dangerously close.

Meanwhile, Sweden summoned Russia’s ambassador after a Russian fighter jet flew unusually close to a Swedish reconnaissance plane.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist slammed Russia as “unprofessional” and urged Moscow to avoid incidents like this again.

“The Russian behaviour is unacceptable. From a security point of view, it is unprofessional and the risk of serious incidents increases significantly,” he told TT news agency in a written statement.

“Everyone should have a fundamental interest in not (letting) these incidents occur,” he added.

In 2014, Sweden and neighbouring Denmark summoned Russia’s ambassadors in protest over a near miss between a Russian surveillance plane and a commercial aircraft.

With AFP reporting

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