Russia fighter jet intercepted a U.S. navy spy plane over the Baltic Sea. This has only increased tensions between the two countries, which are known for their nuclear power. Though there’s no violation committed, it was deemed unprofessional because the plane flew in international space. The U.S. pilots said they weren’t scared of the action although the Russian jet was quite close to them.
The last time the U.S. and Russia had a confrontation was in January. At that time, a Russia fighter jet did the same thing to a U.S. plane but at a different location. The confrontation took place over the Black Sea. Actually, what happened in January wasn’t the first. In November last year, another Russian aircraft allegedly flew 50 within a range of 50 feet from a navy reconnaissance plane. It directly affected the U.S. plane’s performance because the Russian jet caused turbulance. There were other instances, one in May and one in December.
Aircraft intercepts are classified into two, safe and unsafe. This particular incident was safe, just a bit unprofessional. The jet used by Russia was the Su-27, while the U.S. one was a Navy P-8 maritime surveillance plane. The U.S. State department said Russia was flagrantly violating existing agreements and international law, to which the Russian Defense Ministry replied with “took place in strict accordance with international rules of airspace use.” The ministry even put the blame on the U.S. plane because it tried to get close to the Russian airspace.
It’s apparent that the tensions stem from conflict in Syria. Russia is known as a staunch supporter of Al-Assad’s regime. Meanwhile, the U.S. and allies have openly condemned what Assad has done to his people. For example, in April the U.S. together with the UK and France launched a missile strike on Syria. The attack was reportedly successful although some reports claimed otherwise, that some missiles could be intercepted. The attack was a response or a retaliation to the chemical attack the Assad regime has done to civilians.