National security advisor Michael Flynn’s departure following his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US, and his subsequent denial of having any discussions, doesn’t look to end the crisis that Donald Trump’s administration faces with Moscow.
On Saturday Australia time, Russian Su-24 attack jets flew close to the USS Porter in the Black Sea, the US Navy revealed on Wednesday. This came less than a day after Trump said he was “considering” the future of Flynn.
Flynn resigned on Tuesday after a report in the Washington Post revealed he had contacts with the Russian ambassador. Flynn reportedly had several calls with the Russian ambassador to Washington concerning US sanctions with Russia. Although the national security advisor initially refused having any contacts with Russia, he later said he did.
A Russian spy ship was noticed off the US East Coast. The move comes in the midst of rumours that Russia deployed new medium-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles to two European sites in December, which comes as a violation of a 1987 treaty.
Two Su-24 aircrafts flew low to the US Navy Porter and an Il-38 ‘Dolphin’ surveillance aircraft was also noticed. According to a US official, who spoke with Reuters, a Su-24 flew as close as 180 metres of the Porter at a height of 90 metres. “Such incidents are concerning because they can result in accident or miscalculation,” Captain Danny Hernandez, a spokesman for US European Command, said in a statement.
On Tuesday, a Russian electronic surveillance ship was noticed off the East Coast, near Washington DC. As noted by FOX News, the surveillance ship was equipped with sensors and computers with technology to sift through communications traffic. The vessel is around 110 kilometres off Delaware, in international waters. The national waters boundary is 22 kilometres.
Last year, more than one Su-24 attack jets conducted simulated bombing runs on the US guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook. In April 2015, the SSV-175 Viktor Leonov was noticed close to the US.
The last time a Russian sky ship was spotted was in September 2015. The ship was seen outside a US Navy submarine base at Kings Bay.