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GROZNY, May 24. /TASS/. The latest incident involving a US spy plane is unpleasant but not surprising, the deputy chief of Russia’s Security Council, Yevgeny Lukyanov, has told the media in response to a question from TASS.
"Intelligence work is proceeding," he said.
"That it is dangerous goes without saying," he added. "The risk of an emergency is growing."
"All of us understand perfectly well that everybody has one’s own tasks, including reconnaissance by provocation, by activating our missile defense systems," Lukyanov said. "When they say that our planes make risky flyovers - go and look at what happens over Red Square on May 9, the distance at which our planes fly in our Kubinka Diamond formation. We may have different security standards."
Lukyanov said he by no means regarded the incident as a reason for alarm. He recalled that in the Soviet era NATO’s strategic bombers and Soviet bombers often flew near the USSR’s borders. Pilots on both sides then knew not only each other’s names, but also days of birth and the names of each other’s relatives.
On May 23, US military attache was invited to the Russian Defense Ministry. The ministry’s press and information department has said the US official was notified that on May 22, 2016 Russian air defenses identified a US RC-135 spy plane conducting air reconnaissance over the Sea of Japan near Russia’s state border."
"The US plane’s transponder was turned off. The crew failed to notify the air traffic control services of the region about its route. The plane used altitudes meant for regular flights by civil airliners," the Russian Defense Ministry said, adding that "unprofessional actions by the US plane’s crew created a risk of collision with civilian aircraft."