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Russian planes conduct ‘aggressive’ passes of US warship in Baltic Sea

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Two Russian warplanes have flown simulated attack passes near a US guided missile destroyer in the Baltic Sea, the US military says, with one official describing the incident as one of the most aggressive interactions in recent memory.

The US military released recordings and photographs indicating Russian Sukhoi SU-24 attack aircraft flying across the bow of the destroyer in the latest of many recent cases the White House said were unsafe and unprofessional.

The US military said the action had the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident that could cause serious injury or death.

“There have been repeated incidents over the past year where the Russian military, including Russian military aircraft, have come close enough … to other air and sea traffic to raise serious safety concerns,” spokesman Josh Earnest said.

“This incident … is entirely inconsistent with the professional norms of militaries operating in proximity to each other in international water and international airspace.”

The repeated flights, which also happened near the ship a day earlier, were so close they created wake in the water, with 11 passes, a defence official said.

The planes carried no visible weaponry, the official said.

A Russian KA-27 Helix helicopter also made seven passes around the USS Donald Cook, taking pictures.

The nearest Russian territory was about 70 nautical miles away in its enclave of Kaliningrad, which sits between Lithuania and Poland.

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Oli, Dahal hold discussion on party unification and govt expansion

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KATHMANDU — Prime Minister and CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli held talks with CPN-MC Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ at the former’s residence in Balkot today.

During the meeting that lasted for around 1.5 hours, matters relating to the unification between the two parties and the CPN-MC’s participation in the government were discussed.

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In his comments following the meeting, Maoist Chair Prachanda said the talks in regards to the unification were held positively and efforts are on to announce the unification soon.

The Prime Minister’s press coordinator Chetan Adhikari said the two chairs met on the eve of the meeting of the party unification coordination committee scheduled for tomorrow.

The PUCC meeting tomorrow will discuss the issue of party unity and government participation at length, and two chairs discussed the same matter today.

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