‘Russia does not seek confrontation’ with US, ambassador says
Moscow, Mar 15 (EFE).- Russia does not want confrontation with the United States, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington said after he was summoned over what the US described as a collision between a Russian fighter jet and a US drone over the Black Sea, resulting over the loss of the unmanned aerial vehicle.
Washington summoned Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, in protest over Tuesday’s incident, which it described as “aggressive” and “dangerous.”
Antonov claimed after the meeting that the US MQ-9 Reaper drones were collecting intelligence data for Ukraine to use against Russia, according to Moscow’s state news agency TASS on Wednesday.
“They are collecting intelligence information, which is subsequently used by the Kyiv regime to strike at our armed forces and territory,” Antonov said.
“We perceive any actions with the use of American weapons and equipment as openly hostile.”
However, Antonov also added that “we believe it is important that the lines of communication remain open.”
“Russia does not seek confrontation and stands for pragmatic cooperation in the interests of the peoples of our countries,” he said, according to TASS.
In Tuesday morning’s incident, the US said two Russian Su-27s flew up to its MQ-9 with one plane striking its propeller, forcing Washington to bring it down in international waters.
“Several times before the collision, the Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the MQ-9 in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” US European Command said.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense said its radar detected the US drone near the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with the transponder switched off “in violation of the boundaries of the area of the temporary regime for the use of airspace, established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation” in Ukraine.
It denied a collision, suggesting the crash was due to “sharp maneuvering.” EFE