US presidential candidate Donald Trump says that if Russia does not respond to diplomatic calls to stop flyby manoeuvres over the Baltic Sea, the Americans would have to shoot Russian planes down.
Donald Trump
© Reuters/Scanpix

He was commenting on a series of recent incidents where Russian fighter jets approached an American warship and reconnaissance planes dangerously close.

On Friday, US media reported that a Russian Su-27 jet performed a "barrel-roll" over a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance plane in the Baltic Sea.

Trump told an Indiana radio station on Monday that the flybys of Russian planes over American aircraft demonstrated a lack of respect for the United States and President Barack Obama.

Trump noted that Washington’s initial response to such incidents should be diplomacy.

"And if that doesn’t work out, I don’t know… at a certain point, when that sucker comes by, you gotta shoot," Trump stated.

Flyby incidents in the Baltic Sea have been a source of tension between Russia and the United States.

On April 13, the United States expressed concern after Russian Su-24 tactical bombers flew over the US guided missile destroyer Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea. Secretary of State John Kerry then said that the Americans were within their rights to shoot down the Russian bomber.

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