US uses ‘routine’ aerial incidents to stir up Russophobia, avoids dialog – Moscow
The US deliberately "fusses” over ordinary plane encounters to accuse Moscow of aggression, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, responding to the latest incident over the Black Sea.
Moscow notes Washington's “repeated attempts to make a fuss over what has in fact become routine episodes of escorting each other's planes,” the ministry said in a statement. It regards this approach as nothing but a desire to “stir up Russophobic sentiments in the media and to accuse Russia of aggressive actions.” Such moves are “hardly compatible” with a genuine aspiration to resolve such issues “in a civilized way,” it added.
Moscow and Washington signed an agreement – which particularly addresses and regulates such incidents – more than 30 years ago, the statement reminded. It went on to point out that Russia has repeatedly suggested further refining this document, but “the US side has always avoided professional dialog” on the matter.
Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry recommended the US to either stop flying military planes near Russian borders or agree on the rules for such flights.
“The maneuvers of the Russian fighter jet on January 29 were standard, absolutely legal and perfectly safe for the American surveillance plane,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement. Earlier, the US accused the Russian pilot of acting recklessly during an interception of an EP-3 spy plane by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet over the Black Sea.
The comments came on Thursday after the US Navy released additional footage, which it said showed an interception of an EP-3 spy plane by a Russian Su-27 fighter jet over the Black Sea. The two sides disagree on whether the Russian pilot acted recklessly during the Monday encounter.