Russian Fighter Jet and U.S. Navy Plane Come Within 20 Feet

A Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Navy plane conducting surveillance operations in international airspace, the countries confirmed.

An Su-27 came within 20 feet of a Navy P-8A Poseidon over the Black Sea on Tuesday, a military representative told ABC News.

The Poseidon, a surveillance plan, was conducting “conducting routine operations in international airspace,” Capt. Pamela Kunze, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Naval Forces Europe, told ABC News.

“The interaction lasted 65 minutes and was considered safe and professional by the P-8A’s mission commander,” she said.

The Russian Defense Ministry put out a statement that said the Su-27 merely gave a “greeting” to U.S. pilots, according to reports.

The jet was scrambled to meet the recon plane because it was headed toward the Russian border, the defense ministry added.

“The Russian fighter performed a maneuver to greet the U.S. pilots, after which the U.S. reconnaissance plane changed its course and headed away from the Russian border,” the statement read.

A U.S. official told ABC News the two planes were “wingtip to wingtip” with merely a 20-foot gap for a few minutes.

Both countries added that the pilots acted professionally and identified themselves.

Russian and U.S. aircraft have regularly interacted in the last month, although not over the Black Sea.

Last week U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers and two Su-35 “Flanker” jets in a special air zone off Alaska’s shore.

It was the fifth time in just a few weeks that U.S. jets came into contact with Russian bombers in the defense zone — which monitors planes possibly headed for American air space.

The May 4 incident was the first time the massive Russian planes were accompanied by Su-35s — one of the most powerful aircraft in the country’s arsenal.

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