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Russia & US in Conflict: Drone Crash Launches Dispute
Diplomatic Tensions Rise: Russia and US Clash Over Responsibility for Drone Crash
Russian Efforts to Retrieve Drone Debris
Moscow is making efforts to retrieve the wreckage of a downed American drone after it crashed into the Black Sea. Army General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the drone likely broke into pieces and its debris is now under thousands of feet of water.
Earlier, Nikolai Patrushev, Russia's Security Council secretary, stated that it is “U.S. property"" and that he is ""hoping for success” in their efforts to retrieve the drone. Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia's SVR intelligence service, also noted that the country has ""technical"" capabilities to recover the aircraft.
In response to Tuesday's crash, White House spokesperson John Kirby noted that the U.S. had taken steps to protect their equities and were assessing whether or not a recovery mission could be mounted. The Navy has now put a salvage unit on alert in Europe, according to a U.S. official.
Tensions Between U.S. and Russia
The collision between the drone and the Russian fighter jet has added to the ongoing tensions between Moscow and the U.S. and its allies. Russia's defense ministry noted that they scrambled jets after detecting the U.S. drone but denied any involvement in its crash.
The Pentagon released a statement saying that the drone was on a routine mission and was intercepted “in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner.” Russia responded by saying that the aircraft was out of control and that its jets had no contact with it.
At a meeting of countries supporting Ukraine's fight against invading Russian forces, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the crash is part of a pattern of “risky” and “unsafe” actions by Russian pilots in international airspace.
This incident happened 75 miles southwest of the Crimean Peninsula, a region of Ukraine that has been seized by Russia. Oleksiy Danilov, Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council secretary, called the incident “Putin's signal of readiness to expand the conflict zone with the involvement of other parties.”
NATO diplomats in Brussels have confirmed the incident, but have said they do not anticipate it to escalate into a further confrontation. They believe diplomatic channels between Russia and the U.S. can help mitigate any fallout.
In response, Russia's ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov asked the U.S. to “refrain from further speculation in the media and stop flights near Russian borders.” He also stated that they consider “any action with the use of U.S. weaponry as openly hostile.”