The Russian Defense Ministry has responded to the Pentagon's statements on an "unsafe" and "unprofessional" intercept of a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft by a Russian jetfighter over the Baltic Sea on April 29.
"All flights of Russian aircraft comply with international rules of airspace use," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said on April 30.
"At the same time, we would like to point out that the RC-135U aircraft is always trying to creep towards the Russian border with its transponder switched off. Therefore, [Russian] air defense crews on duty have to scramble our fighter to visually identify the aircraft's type and serial number," he said.
"This problem with the U.S. Air Force has two solutions: either do not fly near our borders or turn your transponder on so that our radar control devices could identify [an aircraft] automatically," Konashenkov said.
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