Moscow has been put on the spot over unsafe military practices following reports of a Russian jet, which flew too close to an American spy plane over the Black Sea. The Russian Su-27 jet is said to have flown at a distance of 1.5m away from the EP-3 spy plane and crossed directly in front of the flight path of the American jet in international airspace.
According to the Defense Ministry, an “unidentified air target” was spotted approaching Russian airspace and immediately, the US Naval Forces Europe took guard. The A Su-27 fighter was dispatched to seize the target and after two hours and 40 minutes, the U.S. surveillance plane was intercepted. The U.S State Department has characterized the incidence, which has raised uproars as an “unsafe” flyby.
Did the Russian activities disregard international norms and agreements?
Capt. Pamela Kunze, the US Naval Forces Europe says, “Unsafe actions increase the risk of miscalculation and midair collisions.” Apparently, it is not the first time that Moscow is being accused of flying dangerously and so close to American aircraft and ships. A similar incidence was reported in December between US and Russian aircraft whereby Russian attack jets were intercepted by US F-22s after flying over the de-confliction line intended to ensure safety.
In 2016, three encounters were reported in one month. That said and given the risks involved, the question remains did is Russia violating international laws?
In response to the accusation of unsafe activities, the Russian Defense Ministry has maintained that its fighter jet flew within the stipulated rules. It is worth noting that Russian, US and NATO forces run their affairs in close proximity to the Black Sea airspace despite the US Navy upping its presence in the same region.
The western world and Russia are constantly at loggerheads
For the longest time possible, Russia has been crushing with the western world over the particulars of aerial and maritime operations. The two have been fighting over who has the supremacy over in international territories. However, following the encounter, which, may have resulted in midair collisions, Russia has been asked to exercise caution in international airspace.