Two Russian SU-24 warplanes buzzed the United States(US) missile-guided destroyer, USS Donald Cook, in international waters on the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, getting dangerously close to the US ship in what an official has described as one of the most aggressive interactions in recent memory.
As reported by Reuters, the repeated flights by the Russian planes, which also flew very close to the ship on Monday, was so close, they created wake in the water with 11 passes alongside the US destroyer and another seven passes by a Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter. These buzzes of the past week are synonymous with Russian actions on the seas and in the air over Europe and against NATO forces and fleets in the past few years.
Nordic and other European nations have complained about reckless Russian agitations at sea and in the air in recent years. I
In Washington, DC, the White House said the Russian incident "is entirely inconsistent with the professional norms of militaries operating in proximity to each other in international water and international airspace." Thus, US Representative J. Randy Forbes, chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on seapower, countered: "US naval activity in Europe must be expanded accordingly to address the threat posed by Russia's international behavior," Reuters reported.
Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz admitted: "We cannot threat this as anything else than provocation, yet another example of aggressive intentions towards NATO, towards the United States, towards Poland." The USS Donald Cook had recently departed the Polish port of Gdynia.
This recent action by Russia underscores the frustration of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The economic attractiveness of the Europe Union(EU) to states on the continent and the defense security offered by NATO, are diminishing the influence, the need and the importance of Putin's Russia to the continent, so Putin is angry and frustrated. Hence, more agitations could be expected from the Russian over the coming months until an event reinforces the reality of the times to the Russian ruler.