Russian aircraft came close to three US navy planes in the Mediterranean Sea over the weekend, the Pentagon said on Wednesday, at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries over Russia’s military buildup along its border with Ukraine.
While such interactions are not rare between the United States and Russia, it comes at a particularly delicate time and a heightened concern about any accidents or miscalculations.
Russian aircraft came close to three US navy P-8A aircraft while they were flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean.
“While no one was hurt, interactions such as these could result in miscalculations and mistakes that lead to more dangerous outcomes,” Capt Mike Kafka, a Pentagon spokesman, said.
A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in one of the incidents, the Russian aircraft came within several feet of one of the US navy planes.
While the United States has said it will not send troops to Ukraine if Russia invades , Washington has sent thousands of additional troops to eastern Europe to help reassure Nato allies.
Joe Biden warned on Tuesday that more than 150,000 Russian troops were still massed near Ukraine’s borders.