MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting “aggressively” in the Black Sea, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, citing an anonymous source in Russia’s armed forces in Crimea.
The source was quoted as saying that the U.S. destroyer Ross was moving along the edge of Russia’s territorial waters and heading in their direction.
“The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” RIA quoted the source as saying.
“Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.”
Russia’s Defence Ministry was not immediately available to comment on the report.
The incident is the latest example of encounters between Russian and Western militaries, as tensions continue over the crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, last year.
Earlier this month both Britain and Sweden said that they had scrambled fighters to intercept Russian bombers near their territory.
The United States said last month that it was filing a complaint to Russia over a Russian fighter’s “sloppy” and unsafe interception of a U.S. reconnaisance plane in international aerospace over the Baltic Sea.
Reporting By Jason Bush; editing by Ralph Boulton