Friday, March 24, 2023

Russia: Amid growing tension with Russia, America said, drone flights will continue – Usky News

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday that the country would continue to conduct surveillance flights after a US reconnaissance drone collided with a Russian warplane and shot it down over the Black Sea.
“Make no mistake, America is free to fly and work wherever international law allows,” Austin said in remarks at the start of a virtual meeting of nearly 50 countries supporting Ukraine’s efforts in the war against Russia. will continue to do so.”
“This dangerous episode detracts from a pattern of aggressive and risky and unsafe actions by Russian pilots in international airspace,” Austin said. “It is up to Russia to operate its military aircraft in a safe and professional manner. The incident, the first known physical contact between Russian and US forces since the start of the war in Ukraine, has raised tensions between the superpowers. The US and Ukraine have said that the unarmed American MQ-9 Reaper drone was flying in international airspace on a routine surveillance and reconnaissance mission.
The Pentagon accused Moscow of negligence, saying Russian planes refueled a US drone on Tuesday before one chopped off the drone’s propeller and caused its American operators to bring it down in the Black Sea. Ukrainian officials said the drone crashed into the waters southeast of Snake Island, about 48 km off the Ukrainian coast.
Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said the incident was a sign of “(President) Putin’s readiness to expand the conflict zone with the involvement of other parties.”
Russia denied that its plane shot down the drone and demanded an end to US military flights near its territory. “I want to emphasize that Russian fighter jets did not use air weapons, did not come into contact with an unmanned aerial vehicle and safely carried out their operations,” said Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, chief spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry, on Wednesday. Returned to base airspace.”
He said the drone was flying “in the direction” of Russia’s border and that fighter jets had been dispatched to identify the intruder. ,
Moscow told Washington on Wednesday to stay away from its airspace. “The unacceptable activity of the US military close to our borders is a cause for concern,” the Russian ambassador said. Anatoly Antonov accused Washington of “using drones to gather intelligence, which is then used Kyiv regime to attack our armed forces and territory”.
“Let us ask a rhetorical question: if, for example, a Russian strike drone appeared near New York or San Francisco, how would the US Air Force and Navy react?” boundaries “. Reaction on state media in Russia was largely muted, but some politicians sought to portray the episode as evidence that the US was in direct confrontation with Moscow. Leonid SlutskyThe head of the Russian parliament’s committee on international affairs said in an interview with the Russian state news agency Tass that it “once again proves the involvement of the United States in the Ukrainian conflict”.
Meanwhile, British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace urged Moscow to respect international airspace. “The key is that all sides respect international airspace and we urge the Russians to do the same. ,


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