A Russian ambassador to NATO said that Russia would deploy “all necessary measures” against American aggression, citing the sailing of a US destroyer in the Baltic Sea as an act of intimidation.
On April 11, Russian aircrafts had made a close encounter with an American Navy destroyer in international waters, with both sides accusing the other of aggression.
“This is about attempts to exercise military pressure on Russia,” the envoy, Alexander Grushko, said, according to Reuters. “We will take all necessary measures, precautions, to compensate for these attempts to use military force,” he told reporters.
The US said that the Navy destroyer was just making a routine trip to Poland, and that the flight of the Russian jets near the ship constituted “harassment.”
“We were in international waters,” said US ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute.
After the incident, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the US destroyer had the right to shoot the jets down under “rules of engagement,” according to AP.
The pair of Su-24 jets, which were apparently unarmed, came to within 30 feet of the Navy destroyer.
“It’s unprofessional and under the rules of engagement that could have been a shot down, so people need to understand that this is serious business and the United States is not going to be intimidated in high seas,” Kerry told CNN.
At the NATO-Russia Council, last held in June of 2014, disagreements also extended to the Ukraine crisis, and the militarization of NATO in Eastern Europe.
Whereas Russia characterizes the situation in Ukraine as a civil war, NATO says that it’s the result of Russian destabilization of the country.
“In the meeting, it was re-confirmed that we disagree on the facts, on the narrative and the responsibilities in and around Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
Russia said that its main concern was the current military buildup of NATO in Eastern Europe, the biggest since the end of the Cold War, with multinational forces rotating in the Baltics and Poland.
NATO has said that the buildup is a justified response to Russian intrusions in Ukraine, the support for rebels, and the annexation of Crimea.