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U.S. issues formal protest to Russia over Baltic Sea incident

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U.S. issues formal protest to Russia over Baltic Sea incident

Post by Harry on Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:39 am

U.S. issues formal protest to Russia over Baltic Sea incident

By Barbara Starr, Ryan Browne and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Updated 1921 GMT (0221 HKT) April 14, 2016

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TOPSHOT - Refugee children arrive a the Turkish border crossing gate as Syrians fleeing the northern embattled city of Aleppo wait on February 6, 2016 in Bab al-Salama, near the city of Azaz, northern Syria. Thousands of Syrians were braving cold and rain at the Turkish border Saturday after fleeing a Russian-backed regime offensive on Aleppo that threatens a fresh humanitarian disaster in the country's second city. Around 40,000 civilians have fled their homes over the regime offensive, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor. / AFP / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
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A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very-low altitude pass by the USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) April 12. Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, forward deployed to Rota, Spain is conducting a routine patrol in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.
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Story highlights

Russian fighter jets flew too close for U.S. officials' comfort to the USS Donald Cook this week
A U.S. official described the Russian maneuver as "strafing runs" without firing any weapons

(CNN)White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest says the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has communicated formal concerns to the Russian government about the incident in the Baltic Sea this week in which fighter jets flew very close to the USS Donald Cook.
Earnest said the countries would work to resolve differences over this episode through "well-established" military channels.
Unarmed Russian fighter jets made two extremely close overflights this week of the USS Donald Cook while it was sailing in the Baltic Sea.
The Cook "encountered multiple, aggressive flight maneuvers by Russian aircraft that were performed within close proximity of the ship," according to a statement by European Command.
"We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian flight maneuvers," the statement said.

One of the Russian jets flew within 30 feet of the Cook's ship superstructure, according to a U.S. official.
The initial reports indicated the two concerning encounters occurred Tuesday night in international waters. A third overflight, at a more acceptable distance, happened Sunday, according to a U.S. official.
The Navy released video of the incident on YouTube on Wednesday afternoon.
The ship, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, also had a Polish helicopter on board as part of routine training, according to the official, leading to some speculation in military circles that the Russians were also "sending a message to Poland," the official said.
A U.S. official described the Russian maneuver as "strafing runs" without firing any weapons. The unarmed Russian aircraft swooped in over the deck in the same flight profile that would have been used if an attack was underway.
The budget request includes money for two littoral combat ships like the USS Little Rock, shown here after it was christened in 2015. The 2017 budget stipulates that the Navy will reduce its planned littoral combat ship/fast frigate procurement from 52 ships to 40.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Littoral combat ship – The budget request includes money for two littoral combat ships like the USS Little Rock, shown here after it was christened in 2015. The 2017 budget stipulates that the Navy will reduce its planned littoral combat ship/fast frigate procurement from 52 ships to 40.
Hide Caption
8 of 14
The Pentagon wants $3.1 billion to buy 15 KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The refueling boom on the Pegasus can pump 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute into another aircraft.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
KC-46A Pegasus – The Pentagon wants $3.1 billion to buy 15 KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The refueling boom on the Pegasus can pump 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute into another aircraft.
Hide Caption
9 of 14
Eleven C-130J aircraft, of various configurations, are included in the Air Force's 2017 budget request.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
C-130J – Eleven C-130J aircraft, of various configurations, are included in the Air Force's 2017 budget request.
Hide Caption
10 of 14
The Pentagon won't be buying any new A-10 Thunderbolt attack jets, but the budget request includes money that would delay the aircraft's retirement until 2022.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
A-10 Thunderbolt – The Pentagon won't be buying any new A-10 Thunderbolt attack jets, but the budget request includes money that would delay the aircraft's retirement until 2022.
Hide Caption
11 of 14
The Pentagon is asking for $1 billion to buy 36 Black Hawk helicopters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Black Hawk helicopter – The Pentagon is asking for $1 billion to buy 36 Black Hawk helicopters.
Hide Caption
12 of 14
The request includes $1.1 billion for 52 Apache attack helicopters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Apache helicopter – The request includes $1.1 billion for 52 Apache attack helicopters.
Hide Caption
13 of 14
The request includes $735 million for 2,020 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and Marines. The JLTVs are intended to replace Humvees.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Joint Light Tactical Vehicles – The request includes $735 million for 2,020 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and Marines. The JLTVs are intended to replace Humvees.
Hide Caption
14 of 14
The Pentagon <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/pentagon-budget-defense-department-isis-russia-north-korea/index.html" target="_blank">has requested $582.7 billion</a> for the upcoming fiscal year. A healthy chunk of that money would go to acquiring new hardware, including F-35 fighter jets. The Pentagon is requesting $10.1 billion for F-35s in three variants: 43 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
The Pentagon has requested $582.7 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. A healthy chunk of that money would go to acquiring new hardware, including F-35 fighter jets. The Pentagon is requesting $10.1 billion for F-35s in three variants: 43 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
Hide Caption
1 of 14
The budget request also includes two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
F/A-18 Hornet – The budget request also includes two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.
Hide Caption
2 of 14
The Pentagon wants $759 million for two MQ-4C Tritons. It says the drones will "maximize capabilities and extend the reach of our airborne systems."
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
MQ-4C Triton – The Pentagon wants $759 million for two MQ-4C Tritons. It says the drones will "maximize capabilities and extend the reach of our airborne systems."
Hide Caption
3 of 14
The request includes $2.2 billion to buy P-8A Poseidons -- modified Boeing 737s designed to be submarine hunters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
P-8A Poseidon – The request includes $2.2 billion to buy P-8A Poseidons -- modified Boeing 737s designed to be submarine hunters.
Hide Caption
4 of 14
The Pentagon wants $3.2 billion to buy two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer – The Pentagon wants $3.2 billion to buy two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.
Hide Caption
5 of 14
One America-class amphibious assault ship is included in the Navy's 2017 budget. Amphibious assault ships can deploy aircraft, including the new F-35 fighter jets.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
America-class amphibious assault ship – One America-class amphibious assault ship is included in the Navy's 2017 budget. Amphibious assault ships can deploy aircraft, including the new F-35 fighter jets.
Hide Caption
6 of 14
The request includes $5.2 billion to buy two Virginia-class attack submarines. Here, a dolphin swims in front of the USS John Warner during its sea trials in May.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Virginia-class attack submarine – The request includes $5.2 billion to buy two Virginia-class attack submarines. Here, a dolphin swims in front of the USS John Warner during its sea trials in May.
Hide Caption
7 of 14
The budget request includes money for two littoral combat ships like the USS Little Rock, shown here after it was christened in 2015. The 2017 budget stipulates that the Navy will reduce its planned littoral combat ship/fast frigate procurement from 52 ships to 40.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Littoral combat ship – The budget request includes money for two littoral combat ships like the USS Little Rock, shown here after it was christened in 2015. The 2017 budget stipulates that the Navy will reduce its planned littoral combat ship/fast frigate procurement from 52 ships to 40.
Hide Caption
8 of 14
The Pentagon wants $3.1 billion to buy 15 KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The refueling boom on the Pegasus can pump 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute into another aircraft.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
KC-46A Pegasus – The Pentagon wants $3.1 billion to buy 15 KC-46A Pegasus refueling tankers. The refueling boom on the Pegasus can pump 1,200 gallons of fuel per minute into another aircraft.
Hide Caption
9 of 14
Eleven C-130J aircraft, of various configurations, are included in the Air Force's 2017 budget request.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
C-130J – Eleven C-130J aircraft, of various configurations, are included in the Air Force's 2017 budget request.
Hide Caption
10 of 14
The Pentagon won't be buying any new A-10 Thunderbolt attack jets, but the budget request includes money that would delay the aircraft's retirement until 2022.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
A-10 Thunderbolt – The Pentagon won't be buying any new A-10 Thunderbolt attack jets, but the budget request includes money that would delay the aircraft's retirement until 2022.
Hide Caption
11 of 14
The Pentagon is asking for $1 billion to buy 36 Black Hawk helicopters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Black Hawk helicopter – The Pentagon is asking for $1 billion to buy 36 Black Hawk helicopters.
Hide Caption
12 of 14
The request includes $1.1 billion for 52 Apache attack helicopters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Apache helicopter – The request includes $1.1 billion for 52 Apache attack helicopters.
Hide Caption
13 of 14
The request includes $735 million for 2,020 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and Marines. The JLTVs are intended to replace Humvees.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Joint Light Tactical Vehicles – The request includes $735 million for 2,020 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles for the Army and Marines. The JLTVs are intended to replace Humvees.
Hide Caption
14 of 14
The Pentagon <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/09/politics/pentagon-budget-defense-department-isis-russia-north-korea/index.html" target="_blank">has requested $582.7 billion</a> for the upcoming fiscal year. A healthy chunk of that money would go to acquiring new hardware, including F-35 fighter jets. The Pentagon is requesting $10.1 billion for F-35s in three variants: 43 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
The Pentagon has requested $582.7 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. A healthy chunk of that money would go to acquiring new hardware, including F-35 fighter jets. The Pentagon is requesting $10.1 billion for F-35s in three variants: 43 F-35As for the Air Force, 16 F-35Bs for the Marine Corps and four F-35Cs for the Navy.
Hide Caption
1 of 14
The budget request also includes two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
F/A-18 Hornet – The budget request also includes two F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets.
Hide Caption
2 of 14
The Pentagon wants $759 million for two MQ-4C Tritons. It says the drones will "maximize capabilities and extend the reach of our airborne systems."
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
MQ-4C Triton – The Pentagon wants $759 million for two MQ-4C Tritons. It says the drones will "maximize capabilities and extend the reach of our airborne systems."
Hide Caption
3 of 14
The request includes $2.2 billion to buy P-8A Poseidons -- modified Boeing 737s designed to be submarine hunters.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
P-8A Poseidon – The request includes $2.2 billion to buy P-8A Poseidons -- modified Boeing 737s designed to be submarine hunters.
Hide Caption
4 of 14
The Pentagon wants $3.2 billion to buy two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer – The Pentagon wants $3.2 billion to buy two DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.
Hide Caption
5 of 14
One America-class amphibious assault ship is included in the Navy's 2017 budget. Amphibious assault ships can deploy aircraft, including the new F-35 fighter jets.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
America-class amphibious assault ship – One America-class amphibious assault ship is included in the Navy's 2017 budget. Amphibious assault ships can deploy aircraft, including the new F-35 fighter jets.
Hide Caption
6 of 14
The request includes $5.2 billion to buy two Virginia-class attack submarines. Here, a dolphin swims in front of the USS John Warner during its sea trials in May.
14 photos: Big-ticket buys in the Pentagon's budget request
Virginia-class attack submarine – The request includes $5.2 billion to buy two Virginia-class attack submarines. Here, a dolphin swims in front of the USS John Warner during its sea trials in May.

A second U.S. defense official told CNN that the overflights were conducted by a Russian SU-24 and helicopter. Flight operations by the Polish helicopter were interrupted because one of the overflights was so close.
Opinion: Obama's and Putin's differences are sharp and dangerous
Russian fighter jets fly over U.S. destroyer.

Russian fighter jets fly over U.S. destroyer. 01:10
The Cook had been shadowed by a Russian intelligence-gathering ship for some time before the aircraft encounter. The U.S. crew had radioed the Russian ship that it was conducting routine operations, according to the official.
There are often encounters between U.S. ships and aircraft and their Russian counterparts, but as long as they are conducted safely, there is minimal concern. This time, however, there were incidents that led the U.S. crew to conclude that the incidents were unsafe.
Close encounters between Russian military aircraft and U.S. warships have become increasing common in recent months. In October, U.S. Navy jets intercepted two Russian Tu-142 aircraft that were flying near the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific Ocean.
In an incident in June, a Russian Su-24 jet flew within 500 meters (1,640 feet) of a U.S. guided-missile destroyer that was sailing in the Black Sea near Crimea.
The Russian aerial maneuvers come amid rising tensions on NATO's eastern flank.
Russian fighter jet.
Russian fighter jet.
Russia using Syria to run circles around U.S.
In February, the Department of Defense announced it was spending $3.4 billion for the European Reassurance Initiative in an effort to deter Russian aggression against NATO allies following Russia's 2014 intervention in Ukraine.
In recent weeks, the U.S. has deployed additional military assets throughout Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Air Force deployed F-15s to Iceland and the Netherlands and F-22s to the United Kingdom. And in February the U.S. announced that it would send six F-15s to Finland for a training exercise and pre-position tanks and artillery in Norway, both countries share a border with Russia.

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