April 15, 2014 08:06
The Pentagon says a Russian SU-24 fighter aircraft made 12 low-altitude, close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea over the weekend.
U.S. defense officials say the Russian jet had no missiles and did not respond to attempts to communicate during the passes which lasted 90 minutes.
A U.S. military official said the Russian jet came within one mile of the U.S. vessel, flying at times below 500 feet.
"This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with their national protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries,'' Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said.
At the time the passes took place, Warren said, the U.S. ship was conducting a patrol in international waters in the western Black Sea. It is now in a Romanian port. Warren said that the U.S, ship was never in danger.
A U.S, military official confirmed another ship will go to Black Sea after the USS Donald Cook departs the region. The official said the new ship will be a frigate, not a destroyer like USS Donald Cook. The timing of the switch is uncertain, the official said.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.
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