A U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea was buzzed by four Russian military jets last week, it was reported on Tuesday.
The USS Porter, a guided missile destroyer, was forced to endure potentially dangerous flybys conducted by several different types of Russian aircraft, the Washington Free Beacon reported. The incident occurred on Feb. 10.
The Free Beacon, citing a European Command spokesman, confirmed the development.
“There were several incidents involving multiple Russian aircraft,” said Navy Capt. Danny Hernandez. “They were assessed by the commanding officer as unsafe and unprofessional.”
Involved in he flyby were two Su-24 jet fighters, then a single Su-24, and finally an IL-38 transport aircraft.
The planes were flying at unusually low altitudes and at high speeds, Hernandez noted. “These incidents are always concerning because they could result in miscalculation or accident,” he said.
The Russian planes didn’t respond to radio requests.
It’s the latest Russian military provocation as the Trump administration attempts to grapple with how it will deal with the Kremlin.
This month, President Donald Trump told Fox News that while he respects Russian President Vladimir Putin, it “doesn’t mean I am going to get along with him.”
“He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. Will I get along with them? I have no idea,” he said.
Right before Trump took office, the Obama administration issued sanctions against Russia and expelled dozens of diplomats over allegations that Moscow interfered in the election—which Russia has denied.
In early February, Trump’s administration modified sanctions against Russian intelligence services, allowing limited transactions with Russia’s Federal Security Bureau (FSB). White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, at the time, rejected the narrative that it represented a shift in policy toward Russia.
“No it doesn’t. From what I understand, it is a regular course of action,” Spicer said.