Russian Su-24 bombers flew over the USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea at a height of 30 m more than 20 times, Reuters reported, citing a source of the Pentagon.
The first time two combat Su-24 planes flew near the destroyer about 20 times on April 11. The distance then didn’t exceed 900 m and the height of their flight was about 30 m. On April 12, the Su-24 flew lower over the American ship. The video released by the US Defense Department depicts one of the sailors shouting that the bomber’s flying below the level of the ship's superstructure.
After the first incident, Russian helicopter Ka-27 began approaching and shooting the missile destroyer. The destroyer’s naval officers described the incident as "unsafe and unprofessional."
The Russian aircraft simulated attack and didn’t respond to the safety warnings in English and Russian languages, the US European Command’s statement reads. Washington promised to express Moscow its attitude to the case through diplomatic and naval channels. "These actions can cause an error in the calculations and lead to the incident with serious injuries or deaths," EUCOM said.
On Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the White House Joshua Ernest commented on the incident with the Russian combat aircraft Su-24 and the US Donald Cook destroyer in the Baltic Sea. He noted that actions of the Russians went beyond all the accepted international norms. According to him, the incident does not correspond to any professional standards of the militaries, who act close to each other in international waters and international airspace.
The US guided missile destroyer Donald Cook came out of the Polish port of Gdansk on April 11. It had a helicopter of the Polish Armed Forces on its board. The Polish helicopter had to stop flying because of the dangerous proximity of Russian aircraft. The incidents took place when the American ship was in international waters of the Baltic Sea, 70 nautical miles from Kaliningrad.