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US Defense Intelligence Director: Competition With Russia ‘Norm’

© REUTERS / Gary CameronDefense Intelligence Agency Director USMC Lt. General Vincent Stewart waits to testify at a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on "World Wide Cyber Threats" on Capitol Hill in Washington September 10, 2015
Defense Intelligence Agency Director USMC Lt. General Vincent Stewart waits to testify at a House (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing on World Wide Cyber Threats on Capitol Hill in Washington September 10, 2015 - Sputnik International
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US Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said that recent incidents between US and Russian armed forces over the Black Sea demonstrate the normalcy of great power competition between the two nations.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Recent incidents between US and Russian armed forces over the Black Sea demonstrate the normalcy of great power competition between the two nations, US Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart said on Thursday.

"We are always going to have a Russia that believes it should be viewed as a great power, and a great power will compete with other great powers," Vincent said at the Intelligence and National Security Summit in Washington, DC.

Responding to reports of a recent Russian intercept of a US aircraft, Stewart explained that "it is probably the norm, rather than the exception" that the United States and Russia will have "times where we bump into each other around the world, where our interests collide."

On Wednesday, the US Defense Department reported that a Russian Su-27 jet intercepted a US surveillance aircraft at a range of ten feet in international airspace over the Black Sea. The Russian Defense Ministry reported that it scrambled two Su-27’s to intercept the US P-8A aircraft after it switched off its transponders.

The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday that the incident was not the first attempt by US spy plane to approach Russian airspace.

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