Russian Deputy PM Flaunts His “Blackjack Skills” on Twitter
May 29, 2014
After Romania closed its air space to a Russian plane, the deputy PM tweeted he would send in the TU-160 bomber – dubbed “Blackjack” – next time.
This is how Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin reacted to being barred from Romanian airspace, earlier in May: “Upon U.S. request, Romania has closed its air space for my plane. Ukraine doesn’t allow me to pass through again. Next time I’ll fly on board Tu-160.” It seems that this is the type of Russian blackjack, the country’s officials like to play in their spare time.
Rogozin was among the senior Russian officials sanctioned both by the European Union and United States, after Russia moved to annex Crimea. When he tried to fly to Moscow from Transnistria, his plane was turned away; this move obviously made him very angry, because he got on Twitter and wrote he would use his secret Blackjack strategy next time: the Tu-160.
Official threat or bragging?
Since this sounded very much like a threat, the Romanian foreign ministry asked Moscow whether Rogozin’s tweet represented “the Russian Federation’s official position towards Romania as an EU and NATO member.”
Romanian officials said they were merely abiding by the sanctions imposed by the EU and US, adding that “the threat of using a Russian strategic bomber plane by a Russian deputy prime minister is a very grave statement under the current regional context.”