Comment by the Information and Press Department on the interception of a US reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea
The Russian Defence Ministry has commented on the incident involving a US reconnaissance plane off the coast of Crimea on January 29, providing the necessary explanations in response to the Pentagon’s concerns regarding its “unsafe interception.”
For our part, we took note of our US partners’ unending attempts to play up what have become basically routine cases of mutual escorting. We see this as a wish to foment Russia-hate sentiments in the media, accusing Russia of aggressive behaviour. We shall only note that this practice is hardly compatible with the desire to solve emerging problems in a civilised manner.
It is for this purpose that the Agreement Between the Government of The United States of America and the Government of The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas has been in effect since 1972. It will be recalled that Russia has repeatedly invited our US partners to specify its provisions precisely with the aim of concretising the minimal permitted closing distance for military aircraft. We had some other suggestions too. But each time the US evaded any professional discussions.
We call on our US colleagues to get down to dealing with the existing concerns at the negotiating table.