Washington( CNN) A Russian military jet “came within approximately 20 feet” of a US Navy P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea earlier the coming week, US Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze told CNN on Friday.

The encounter occurred on Tuesday and was described by the US Navy as “safe and professional.”

“Distance is only one of many variables considered when defining what is safe and professional, ” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said. “For aviation interactions, distance, velocity, altitude , rate of close, visibility and other factors impact whether an event is characterized as safe or unsafe, professional or not professional.”