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In response to the accusation of unsafe activities, the Russian Defense Ministry has maintained that its fighter jet flew within the stipulated rules.

US Naval Forces Europe-Africa have released footage of a Russian Su-27 intercepting a US Navy EP-3 Aries signals reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea on Monday.

"The actions of the Russian Su-27 that was blocking the attempts of the EP-3 Aries II reconnaissance plane to approach the border of the Russian Federation near the Crimea for more than 2 hours and 20 minutes are correctly called 'escort, ' " the statement said.

The US Navy made public several videos claiming they showed Russia's Sukhoi-27 flying next to its EP-3 plane over the Black Sea.

"Similar maneuvers by NATO planes near Russia's Aerospace Force planes over the Baltic, Barents, Norwegian and North seas cause absolutely no effects on Russian crews", the ministry added.

The controversial encounter happened on Monday in global air space over the Black Sea.

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However, Russia's Defense Ministry said that the intercept was conducted in strict compliance with global aviation rules and was necessary to prevent the Aries from violating Russian airspace.

Hours after the incident, the Navy released a statement Monday saying that "the Russian military is within its right to operate within global airspace, but they must behave within worldwide standards set to ensure safety and prevent incidents".

"While the US aircraft was operating under worldwide law, the Russian side was flagrantly violating existing agreements and global law, in this case the 1972 Agreement for the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas (INCSEA)", she said.

Capt. Pamela Kunze, the US Naval Forces Europe says, "Unsafe actions‎ increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions".

"We would like to address the commander of the 67th Task Force of the 6th Fleet Bill Ellis with a reminder Crimea is an integral part of Russian Federation", the Defense Ministry said. The smallest lapse of focus or error in airmanship by the intercepting aircrew can have disastrous consequences.

"While not shown in the released imagery, during the intercept, the Russian Su-27 executed a hard right-to-left turn from the US EP-3's right side with an excessive closure rate and came within five feet of the EP-3's right wingtip", the Navy said. "There is no margin for error and insufficient time or space for our aircrews to take corrective action".

  • Megan Austin