Thursday, March 16, 2023

As tensions with Russia rise, the US insists drone flights will continue

Drone flights will go on, says US, as tensions flare up with Russia

After an American reconnaissance drone was shot down by a Russian warplane over the Black Sea, the US defense secretary Lloyd Austin said on Wednesday that the country would continue to conduct surveillance flights. Austin said at the beginning of a virtual meeting of 50 nations supporting Ukraine's efforts in the war against Russia, "Make no mistake, the US will continue to fly and operate wherever international law allows."

Austin stated, "This dangerous episode is part of a pattern of aggressive, risky, and unsafe actions that Russian pilots have taken in international airspace." Russia is obligated to operate its military aircraft professionally and safely. The incident, which was the first known physical contact between the US and Russian militaries since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, has heightened tensions between the two major powers. US and Ukraine have said that the unarmed American MQ-9 Harvester drone was flying in global air space on a normal observation and surveillance mission.

The Pentagon said that Russian planes had dropped fuel on the American drone on Tuesday, clipped its propeller, and caused its US operators to bring it down in the Black Sea. The Pentagon said that Moscow had been careless. The drone reportedly went down 48 kilometers off the Ukrainian coast, to the southeast of Snake Island.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine's Public safety and Protection Gathering, said the occurrence was "(President) Putin's sign of preparation to extend the contention zone with the inclusion of different gatherings. "

Russia rejected that its plane had stirred things up around town and requested a finish to US military trips a close to its area. " The Russian defense ministry's chief spokesman, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov, stated on Wednesday that "the Russian fighters did not use airborne weapons, did not come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle, and safely returned to their base airfield." He stated that the fighter jets were sent "in order to identify the intruder" and that the drone had been flying "in the direction" of Russia's border.

On Wednesday, Moscow instructed Washington to stay well out of its airspace. Anatoly Antonov, the Russian ambassador, said, "The unacceptable activity of the US military in the close proximity to our borders is a cause for concern." He said Washington uses drones to "gather intelligence that is subsequently used by the Kyiv regime to strike at our armed forces and territory."

"Let us pose a rhetorical inquiry: How would the US air force and navy respond, for instance, if a Russian strike drone showed up close to New York City or San Francisco? Washington should "stop making sorties near the Russian borders," he said. Although the reaction in Russia's state media was largely muted, politicians attempted to portray the incident as evidence that Washington was in direct conflict with Moscow. In an interview with Tass, the Russian state news agency, Leonid Slutsky, the head of the committee on international affairs of the Russian parliament, stated that it "once again proves the involvement of the United States in the Ukrainian conflict." In the mean time, English guard secretary Ben Wallace urgedMoscow to regard global airspace. " The most important thing is that everyone respects international airspace, and we urge the Russians to do so.

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