U.S. Condemns 'Unsafe' Black Sea Encounter With Russian Jet

Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters of the Russkiye Vityazi (Russian Knights) aerobatic display team perform outside Moscow, Russia, August 1, 2015. The multirole jet is supermaneuverable and was used to intercept a U.S. aircraft above the Black Sea. Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

The Pentagon has accused Russia of making an "unsafe" maneuver near its aircraft over the Black Sea, coming within 10 feet of the U.S. jet, CNN reported.

The Russian air force deployed an Su-27 jet to intercept a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon plane during an exercise in the Black Sea on Wednesday, in a close encounter which lasted 19 minutes, Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said.

"These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions, and could result in a miscalculation or accident," Davis added.

Russia strongly protests U.S. military presence near its borders and close encounters between the naval and air force personnel of the two countries have occurred in both the Black and Baltic Seas.

Russia's defence spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed reports of the encounter, without addressing Davis's comments about the safety of the intercept. Instead Konashenkov boasted that the U.S. aircraft had "sharply changed course" after the incident, state news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Russia's envoy to NATO has repeatedly complained Moscow was strongly against the incursion of non-regional, particularly U.S. forces in the Black Sea and opposes NATO plans to form an allied force off the coasts of Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria.