KREMLIN officials have accused the US of intimidation after an American missile destroyer sailed close to the Russian border as tensions between the superpowers reach boiling point.
Furious Moscow envoy Alexander Grushko used a NATO meeting to warn that Moscow will use “all necessary measures” against the US following the incident.
He said: “This is about attempts to exercise military pressure on Russia.
“We will take all necessary measures, precautions, to compensate for these attempts to use military force.”
But the US claimed the missile destroyer USS Donald Cook was on routine business near Poland when it was swarmed by Russian jets.
US Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute claimed “we were in international waters” as relations between the pair cranked up another notch.
The latest war of words comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry said the US naval ship could have opened fire on Russian military jets that ‘buzzed’ the ship.
Earlier this week he denounced Russia’s “stimulated attack” in the Baltic Sea under the US’ rules of engagement.
Mr Kerry said: “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.”
“People need to understand that this is serious business and the United States is not going to be intimidated on the high seas… We are communicating to the Russians how dangerous this is and our hope is that this will never be repeated.”
The Sukhoi SU-24 bombers were said to be so close to the destroyer that it create waves in the water.
Russian defence ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said the crews of the Russian bombers respected all safety rules but White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Washington has raised its concerns with Russian officials.