Russia has announced that it wants to recover the wreckage of the American dronefor the downing of which in the Black Sea he is accused by the West, and to prove the involvement, as he complains, of the US in operations in Ukrainewhile Washington indicated that it was investigating Moscow’s motives in the incident.
Last Wednesday night, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu estimated that one of the causes of the accident is the “increase” in American espionage operations.
“The causes of the incident are the non-observance on the part of the US of the flight restriction zone, which has been announced by the Russia and which was established due to the conduct of the special military operation (in Ukraine), as well as due to the increase in the activities of (services) Intelligence against the interests of Russia,” Shoigu pointed out in a statement.
“Russia does not wish for such a turn of events but will now react proportionately to any provocation,” the statement added.
The Reaper MQ-9 crashed in international waters in the Black Sea after it was shot down, according to Washington, by a Russian fighter jet. Moscow admits it intercepted the drone with fighter jets, but denies there was any contact between them that could have led to its downing.
Russia claims that the drone enteredoff the coast of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014, in the no-fly zone it has declared after its invasion of Ukraine.
“At this stage I cannot speak to motive or intent (on Russia’s part), but what I can say absolutely clearly is that this is a reckless and dangerous action,” US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, according to the Agence France-Presse and the Athens News Agency.
Kiev has accused Russian forces of deliberately shooting down the Reaper to send a message to Washington.
At a time when the delivery of heavy weapons to Ukraine from the West has begun, the neutralization of the drone is “a message from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin that he is ready to expand the zone of conflict and involve other sides,” he stressed in the Twitter the secretary of the Security Council of Ukraine Oleksiy Danilov.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin underlined yesterday that the US will continue to fly “where international law allows”.
“Russia should fly its military aircraft in a professional and safe manner,” Austin added during a press conference after a telephone conversation with Shoigu.
For its part, Russia has indicated that it will try to locate the Reaper wreckage in order to examine it.
“I don’t know if we will succeed or not, but we have to try. And we will necessarily deal with it, and I hope, of course, with success,” said the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, speaking on Russian television.
He estimated that the incident proves that the US is “directly involved (…) in the war”.
John Kirby, a White House spokesman, has indicated to CNN that the US has “taken steps” to ensure that the drone or its equipment does not fall into hostile hands.
General Mark Milley, head of the US armed forces, did not rule out the possibility that the Americans would also try to recover the Reaper wreckage, although he admitted that such an operation would be difficult.
“We don’t have any ships in the Black Sea right now,” and the drone likely broke up and sank in an area 1,200 to 1,500 meters deep, he noted.
Even if Russia manages to collect its debris, the US has taken steps to protect any sensitive information, he stressed. “We are certain that what was of value before is no longer,” Milly concluded.
Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, who was summoned to the State Department, said Moscow considers the presence of US drones in the region a threat, while calling on US authorities to stop “their flights near the Russian border”.
This is the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine that a NATO country has admitted that it has lost equipment it was operating in that region.
Source: News Beast
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