US warship ‘had right to shoot down Russian jets’ – Kerry

USS Donald Cook in Klaipėda
DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Kerry criticised the behaviour of the Russian aircraft and said he had made clear the US position on the incident to Moscow.

“We condemn this kind of behaviour. It is reckless. It is provocative. It is dangerous. And under the rules of engagement, that could have been a shoot-down.”

Kerry also said that the United States “was not going to be intimidated in international waters“.

However, the Kremlin claimed that Russian aircraft acted “in accordance with international rules”.

Russia’s defence ministry said the Su-24 fighter jets “turned away in observance of all safety measures” after observing the USS Donald Cook.

US defence officials indicated that the aircraft engaged in a “strafing run” over the US missile destroyer. The two Russian jets flew over the US destroyer almost a dozen times, US officials said.

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