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Russia Rejects Criticism of Fly-by Near US Navy Destroyer

  • A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very-low altitude pass by the USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) April 12, 2016. (U.S. Navy 6th Fleet photo/Released)
    A Russian Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft makes a very-low altitude pass by the USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) April 12, 2016. (U.S. Navy 6th Fleet photo/Released)
  • A Russian Kamov KA-27 Helix closely surveils the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) while the ship was operating in international waters April 12, 2016. (U.S. Navy 6th Fleet photo/Released)
    A Russian Kamov KA-27 Helix closely surveils the guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) while the ship was operating in international waters April 12, 2016. (U.S. Navy 6th Fleet photo/Released)
  • In this Jan. 20, 2016 photo, a Russian Su-24 bomber lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov, File)
    In this Jan. 20, 2016 photo, a Russian Su-24 bomber lands at Hemeimeem air base in Syria. (AP Photo/Vladimir Isachenkov, File)

MOSCOW -- Russia's defense ministry has rejected complaints by U.S. officials who claimed Russian attack planes buzzed dangerously close to a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea earlier this week.

The U.S. European command has said the Russian planes buzzed multiple times on Monday and Tuesday in what the U.S. officials described as an unsafe and unprofessional manner.

Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov, spokesman for the Russian defense ministry, said on Thursday that the pilots of Russian Su-24 jets saw the ship and turned back "while using all measures of precaution."

Konashenkov said he was baffled by what he described as the "distressed reaction of our American counterparts."

The U.S. European Command statement said on Wednesday that officials are using diplomatic channels to address the matter.

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