Russia's Baltic aerobatics takes saber-rattling to a low level

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Russia has drawn condemnation from NATO after it emerged that Russian planes had repeatedly buzzed a US destroyer conducting training exercises in the Baltic Sea.

The USS Donald Cook encountered "aggressive Russian aircraft" on Monday and Tuesday according to NATO sources, with one fly-by passing within 30 feet (9 meters) of the US ship.

The proximity of the Russian jets caused training operations about the USS Donald Cook to be temporarily suspended for safety reasons.

Video footage seems to back up the claim that the Russian planes were flying in a manner that could easily be described as reckless but which sent a clear message that Russia believes the Baltic is part of its sphere of influence.

"In my judgement these maneuvers in close proximity to Donald Cook are unprofessional and unsafe," said Admiral Mark Ferguson, the US Navy's commander in Europe and Africa.


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