The incident, which occurred earlier Tuesday, comes after a similar close encounter between a USA military jet and a Russian military aircraft in January.
A Russian fighter jet intercepted a U.S. Navy spy plane over global airspace above the Baltic Sea Tuesday morning in what the European Command is describing as a safe intercept - even though the aircraft came within 20 feet of each other, CBS News' David Martin reports.
A Russian jet flew within 5 feet of a Navy plane in a separate incident in January.
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In May 2017, a Russian jet came within 20 feet of a US spy plane over the body of water. The intercept was, however, formally classified as "safe", as the crew of the P-8 were not placed in any imminent danger through the interaction.
That interaction last over two hours, according to Fox. Zach Harrell said, according to CNN. "And there's a safe way to do it, which basically means avoiding a collision". The Navy considered that intercept unsafe and unprofessional and USA officials responded strongly. In their statement, the Russian Ministry of Defense went so far as to suggest that Russian flying was causing "depression and phobias" among their American counterparts. At one point during the January incident, the Navy aircraft was forced to fly through the Russian's jet wash. That interaction was met with similar criticisms from American officials, and similar rebukes from the Russians.