Concerns mounting over Russian aggression

Experts weigh in on Russian provacations

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- There is growing concern tonight about Russian aggression, especially, Russian fighter jets buzzing a U.S. Navy warship.

"It does violate, there is a 1972 agreement between the U.S. and the USSR for avoidance of incidents on the high seas," said retired Army officer and Old Dominion University and Regent University adjunct professor of political science J. R. Reiling. "And it specifically prohibits making attack runs, doing aerobatics over the other people's vessels."

This was not the first time Russian jets had buzzed a U.S. Navy warship. It happened last year with the USS Donald Cook.

Now, this time, it was the USS Porter, on February 10, operating in international waters in the Black Sea.

Reiling says incidents like this are concerning.

"You know, a lot of times, these incidents can turn into firing incidents or collisions, and then it can escalate," he said..

Joe Bouchard knows all about it.

"I've been buzzed by Russian aircraft in the Sea of Japan and the Arabian Gulf, and, when they're approaching, you don't know their intentions," he said.

Bouchard is a retired Navy captain and former national security council member. He says it is probable this kind of thing will happen again.

"Russia is behaving a lot like the Soviet Union did at the height of the Col War, asserting their presence on the ocean, in the air above international waters, and making it clear that at least in their mind, they're a force to be reckoned with," he said.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Corps General Joe Dunford, will meet on Thursday with his Russian counterpart in Azerbaijan. The generals will discuss the current state of U.S.-Russian military relations.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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