12:50 GMT +317 December 2018
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    US Senate Set to Introduce Resolution Condemning Russian Military Maneuvers

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    A group of US Senators from the Foreign Relations Committee is offering a resolution to condemn recent Russian military maneuvers and calling on US allies to pressure Moscow, according to a draft of the resolution set to be introduced by Senator David Perdue on Monday.

    WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) — RC-135 spy planes of the US Air Force have repeatedly approached Russian border, including over the Baltic Sea, in the Murmansk Region and in the Far East.

    "The Senate condemns the recent dangerous and unprofessional Russian intercepts of United States-flagged aircraft and vessels; calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to cease provocative military maneuvers that endanger United States forces and those of its allies," the draft resolution states.

    The document cites instances in which Russian fighter jets performed aerial maneuvers over US ships at sea, including an April incident in which two Russian Su-24 fighters came within 30 feet of the US Navy missile destroyer Donald Cook in order to identify the vessel.

    In April, the Pentagon accused a Russian combat jet of flying too close to another US spy plane operating in the Baltic, again a stone's throw away from Russia's borders. The Russian Defense Ministry responded to the Pentagon claims that a Russian aircraft allegedly performed an "unsafe" interception of a US jet over the Baltic region, saying that all Russian aircraft frights are carried out under international rules.   

    The resolution also claims that Russia's operations in the Arctic, Black Sea, eastern Mediterranean and Syria are intended to deny the United States access to "key areas of Eurasia."

    The resolution notes US Air Force General Philip Breedlove has stated that Russia continues to seek ways to extend its international influence.

    Earlier this month, Breedlove, who previously headed NATO and the US European Command, underscored the urgency of enhancing US-Russian communications to build confidence between the two nations.

    NATO has been engaged in three large-scale military exercises close to Russia's borders. These include Baltops, Saber Strike and Anakonda. Approximately 6,100 troops from 17 countries take part in the former. A total of 10,000 soldiers are taking part in the US-led Saber Strike 2016, while the Polish-led Anakonda drills involved more than 25,000 troops from 24 states.


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