Russia and the US both have a huge military presence in the region
Captain Danny Alexander, a spokesman for the US European Command, suggested Russian jets had come too close to US warships as they patrolled the Black Sea last Friday.
Two of the incidents involved supersonic Su-24 attack jets, while the other flyby was allegedly made by an IL-38 maritime patrol aircraft.
Speaking to Sputnik, US Defence Department spokesperson Michelle Baldanza said: “Several incidents by multiple Russian aircraft in the Black Sea near the destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) on February 10 were assessed by the ship's commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional.
“Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation.”
In response, Major General Igor Konashenkov released a statement on behalf of the Russian Military of Defence, which read: “There were no incidents related to a flyby of Russian military aircraft near the USS Porter destroyer in the Black Sea on February 10.
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“All of our flights were conducted and are being conducted over the neutral waters of the Black Sea in accordance with international rules and safety requirements.”
Konashenkov also suggested US forces shouldn’t be surprised to see Russian jets so close to their own national borders.
The USS Porter is one of a number of US warships currently patrolling the Black Sea
He added: “If the US destroyer, as the Pentagon official claims, conducted a 'regular' patrol mission in the vicinity of Russia, tens of thousands miles away from their own shores, it is strange to be surprised about the no less regular flights of our aircraft over the Black Sea.”
The news comes as Russian military officials claim they are monitoring Western drills in the region amid increasing global tensions.
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Russia's supersonic Su-24 attack jets
Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu said: “At present, we are watching and monitoring everything that is happening there.
“We hope that the exercise will be conducted in the safest possible environment, without any challenges to Russia. In any case, we are ready to take on these challenges.”
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