[Ed. – This is probably another exaggerated Russian claim, but we’ll see what DOD/EUCOM have to say about it in the next couple of days. Note: USS Ross (DDG-71) is one of the four ballistic missile defense ships being permanently forward-stationed in Rota, Spain. Moscow has objected to this homeporting of BMD ships in Europe from the beginning, and will be motivated to create incidents with the ships whenever possible. The Black Sea is a designated BMD patrol area for the defense of Southern Europe against missiles from the Middle East. Iran has two classes of missiles that can reach into Central Europe now.]
Russian military aircraft were scrambled to head off a U.S. warship that was acting “aggressively” in the Black Sea, state news agency RIA reported on Saturday, citing an anonymous source in Russia’s armed forces in Crimea.
The source was quoted as saying that the U.S. destroyer Ross was moving along the edge of Russia’s territorial waters and heading in their direction.
“The crew of the ship acted provocatively and aggressively, which concerned the operators of monitoring stations and ships of the Black Sea Fleet,” RIA quoted the source as saying.
“Su-24 attack aircraft demonstrated to the American crew readiness to harshly prevent a violation of the frontier and to defend the interests of the country.” …
The incident is the latest example of encounters between Russian and Western militaries, as tensions continue over the crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula, home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, last year.