(National Sentinel)Â Confrontation: While Russian diplomatic officials continue to insist that Moscow does not want to provoke a conflict with the world’s only true superpower - that would be the United States - the Russian military is saying something different.
After a series of close encounters with U.S. warships around the world over the past several months, anÂ armed Russian warplane as reportedly flown toÂ within five feet of an American reconnaissance aircraft on Monday in the Baltic Sea.
As reported byÂ Fox News:
The Russian Su-27 jet had missiles under its wings and approached the U.S. Air Force RC-135 recon jet “rapidly,” coming within five feet of the American aircraft, the officials said.
Once alongside, the Russian jet was â€œprovocativeâ€ in its flight maneuvers and flying â€œerratically,â€ according to another official.
The incident was the 35th interaction in the same region since June 2 between U.S. and Russian aircraft and warships. However, Monday’s incident is noteworthy because U.S. military officials considered it “unsafe,” according to one.
Also noteworthy: The encounter also came just a day after the Russian military announced it would treat any U.S. jet flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as a potential threat and target, after a U.S. Navy F/A-18 shot down a Syrian government Su-22 that had bombed American-backed rebels in the country.
Fox News reported further:
For the past few weeks, the US military has participated in a large military training exercise in the Baltic region, including the use of B-52 nuclear-capable bombers and the long-range B-1 bomber.
Dozens of U.S. and allied warships also participated in the Baltic Sea exercise amid heightened tensions with Russia. The â€œBaltopsâ€ exercise concluded over the weekend.
We reported on Monday that Russia considers Syria, now just a shell of a state, vital to its future economic development; Moscow, with regional partners, seeks to build oil and gas pipelines through the country, to customers in Europe.
Is the Kremlin willing to risk war with the U.S. in order to realize its economic goals? That’s the million dollar question circulating around the highest echelons of the Pentagon and the White House right about now.
The good news is, the Trump administration does not appear willing to back down.
â€œThe escalation of hostility among all of the factions operating there doesnâ€™t help anybody,â€ White House press secretary Sean Spicer said. â€œSo making sure people understand we want to deescalate the situation there â€¦ and understand weâ€™ll always preserve the right of self-defense.â€