BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 A.M.) – The commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe, General Jeffrey Harrigan, said that Russian fighters acted “in an unprofessional and unsafe manner, when they intercepted the American B-52 bomber over the Black Sea the day before yesterday.”
He said that the Russian pilots cut off the path of the American plane at a distance of about 30 meters, which limited its maneuverability.
According to the American general, the U.S. bomber was carrying out a planned flight in international airspace, and the actions of the Russian fighters threatened the flight safety of the aircraft flying there.
He said, “Such actions increase the likelihood of collisions in the air. They are unnecessary and totally inconsistent with good flying skills and international aviation rules.”
The incident happened on August 28. At the time, the Russian side reported that a U.S. B-52 bomber had attempted to approach the Russian border, and that Russian Su-27 fighters had taken off from their bases to intercept them.
The Russian National Defense Monitoring Center of the Russian Defense Ministry indicated that the fighters acted accurately, in accordance with international rules for the use of airspace, and flew at a safe distance from the air target.