American, Russian brass meet to discuss close encounters

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Russian and American officers have met at the US Navy base in Naples, Italy to discuss the danger posed by close encounters between the two countries' naval and air forces while they operate in the Black Sea.

"Discussions between the two delegations were frank and professional with the intent of alleviating any miscues, misunderstandings or miscalculations between our two naval and air forces wherever they might encounter one another," Vice Adm. James Foggo III, the deputy commander of US Naval Forces Europe-Africa wrote the command's website, Stars and Stripes reports.

The meeting was held as part of a bilateral agreement called the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas, which was signed way back in the dark days of the Cold War, according to Stars and Stripes. As with this most recent meeting, the agreement was inked to prevent dangerous conflicts, misunderstanding, or miscommunications on both sides.

This meetup was of particular importance, though, considering the recent close encounters between the two sides. The US has steadily increased its presence in the Black Sea, home of the eponymous and impressive Russian fleet, in the midst of the continuing Crimean conflict.

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