The U.S. has raised concerns directly with Moscow after Russian military jets flew close by a U.S. Navy destroyer, the White House said Thursday.
An American military defense attaché in Russia has raised an official complaint with the Kremlin over the incident, which U.S. officials have called a provocative violation of international norms.
“The United States has raised our concerns with the Russians,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “We’ll seek to resolve our differences through well-established military channels.”
The incident raised eyebrows in the U.S., especially after the Pentagon released video of two Russian jets flying extremely close to the USS Donald Cook, which was operating in the Baltic Sea.
The Russian planes flew in a formation that appeared to simulate an attack.
Earnest said the flights were “inconsistent” with a treaty governing military operations in international waters.
It’s the latest dust-up between the U.S. and Russia, which have been at odds for years in international conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.
The flights appeared to simulate an attack, the Pentagon said.
Russian officials on Thursday brushed off American concerns about the flights. They described the flights as training exercises that were consistent with international law.
“To be honest, we don't understand such a painful reaction from our American colleagues,” Russian Ministry of Defense spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov told the state-controlled TASS news agency.