The attache for defense issues at the US Embassy to Russia was summoned to the Russian Defense Ministry, ministry’s press service and information department reports. He was notified that “on May 22, 2016, Russian air defense facilities spotted an RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft of the US Air Force on aerial surveillance over the Sea of Japan close to the border of the Russian Federation,” it said, noting that the aircraft had the transponder turned off. “The crew did not inform air traffic controllers of the region about its route,” the ministry said, adding that the plane was flying at altitudes used by civil aircraft on regular flights. “Unprofessional action of the US plane’s crew created a threat of a mid-air collision with aircraft of civil airways,” the report said. “The Defense Ministry drew attention to a need to take measures for ruling out such situations in the future during the fights of US reconnaissance aircraft close to the Russian borders,” the ministry said.
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