- The Crimean peninsula, which Russia unlawfully annexed in 2014, was not far from where the drone fell.
- In an earlier interview with reporters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that during the Ukraine conflict
Russian defence commander has warned his US counterpart that increased intelligence gathering by American drones near Ukraine could escalate the situation and cause cto react proportionately.
The remarks were made during a phone call on Wednesday between Sergei Shoigu and Lloyd Austin, the head of the Pentagon, after the US claimed that a Russian Su-27 fighter plane collided with one of its Reaper surveillance drones, causing it to crash into the Black Sea.
Russia denied that it brought the drone to earth on purpose.
It was noted that flights by American strategic deadly drones along the Crimea shoreline were aggressive in nature and generated pre-conditions for an escalation of the crisis in the Black Sea zone.
While having no interest in such a development, Russia will continue to react proportionately to any provocations.
Since President Vladimir Putin ordered soldiers to Ukraine in February 2022, it had been a while since Moscow and Washington had engaged in such a military conflict.
The incident was caused by “enhanced intelligence efforts against the interests of the Russian Federation,” according to Shoigu, as well as “non-compliance with the restricted aviation zone,” which Moscow announced after its war in Ukraine, the ministry claimed.
Austin and Shoigu spoke for the first time since October, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, spoke with General Valery Gerasimov of Russia.
“Any possibility for escalation is taken very seriously by us. And because of that, I think it’s crucial to maintain open lines of communication,” Austin said during a Pentagon press conference. “I believe it’s crucial that we are able to call each other and communicate. And I believe that will aid in future calculation error prevention.
The Russian fighter jet allegedly doused the Air Force MQ-9 Reaper with fuel before striking its propeller as it flew into international airspace, according to the US military, which subsequently dumped the drone in the water. It stated that it was working to release the drone’s surveillance footage that would have captured Tuesday’s crash.
The seriousness of the conflict over the Black Sea and the fact that both parties were aware of the need to contain the risks of escalation were highlighted by the fact that top American and Russian defence and military commanders were speaking so quickly after the incident.
‘Very serious risks’
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, communication between American and Russian military authorities has been sporadic, with Russian officials initially refusing to answer US military calls.
According to Austin and Milley, the incident won’t prevent the US from flying anywhere that is permitted by international law.
In an earlier interview with reporters, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that during the Ukraine conflict, Russia had declared certain areas of the Black Sea off-limits to all aerial traffic and suggested that the US was attempting to escalate the situation by conducting the surveillance flights.
The Crimean peninsula, which Russia unlawfully annexed in 2014, was not far from where the drone fell.
Lavrov stated that there are “extremely substantial risks” associated with any incidents that could lead to conflict between the two major nuclear powers.