Russia Ambassador Says Downed U.S. Drone Was Supporting Ukrainian Attacks

Mar 14, 2023

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has told Newsweek that the U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle downed after an encounter with Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea was supporting Ukrainian forces in the course of the current conflict.

Asked by Newsweek about the incident in which the Pentagon accused the pilots of two Russian Su-27 aircraft of “unsafe and unprofessional,” even “reckless,” actions that forced its Air Force to deliberately bring down its MQ-9 Reaper spy drone and led the State Department to summon the Russian envoy, Antonov said he “categorically rejected all the insinuations of the U.S. side.”

“I explained the position of the Russian Federation,” Antonov said. “I stressed that the American UAV that was moving deliberately and provocatively towards the Russian territory with its transponders turned off violated the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation, which was communicated to all concerned users of international airspace in accordance with international norms.”

Attack on Russian plane in neutral airspace to be seen as declaration of war — diplomat

WASHINGTON, March 16. /TASS/. A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace would be an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power, Moscow is not seeking confrontation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.

“Some lawmakers’ calls go far beyond common sense,” he said, commenting on US Senator Lindsey Graham’s (from South Carolina) threats to shoot down Russian planes approaching US aircraft in international airspace.

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“The Russian Ministry of Defense has explained in detail the reasons and course of actions of Russian pilots during yesterday’s incident over the Black Sea. I repeat, for those who have not gathered themselves to look at the situation objectively: our fighters did not come into contact with the American UAV,” he said, commenting on the loss of a MQ-9 American drone. “Russia did everything possible to prevent this kind of incident – it informed the international community in good time about the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation.”

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