Moscow accused Washington of intimidation after a US naval destroyer in the Baltic Sea sailed close to its territory.

Russian ambassador to Nato, Alexander Grushko, said his country would not take such actions lightly.

Speaking after a meeting with the US ambassador to Nato, Douglas Lute, and other Nato representatives, Mr Grushko added: “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.”

Tensions flared when Russian SU-24 attack planes flew dangerously close to guided-missile destroyer the USS Donald Cook last week.

Mr Lute said the ship was on routine business in international waters near Poland when it was “harassed” by the jets, which made numerous close-range passes.

US Secretary of State John Kerry later said the Navy ship could have opened fire on the military planes under “rules of engagement”.

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