The United States, in light of the incident with the American MQ-9 drone in the Black Sea, made Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov aware of its position that Moscow should act more cautiously, US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told CNN in an interview on Wednesday.
“The message that we delivered to the Russian ambassador is that they need to be more careful in flying in international airspace near US assets that are, once again, flying in completely legal ways, conducting missions in support of our national security interests. <…> They’re the ones that need to be more careful,” he said.
On Tuesday, Antonov was summoned to the US Department of State over the incident with the drone. He reported that following the consultations, he rejected all insinuations from the US side about the incident, noting that the exchange was nevertheless constructive.
Meanwhile, Kirby said that the US did not manage to recover the debris of the drone, pointing out that it may be unable to do so. “It (the debris – TASS) has not been recovered. And I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to recover it. Where it fell into the Black Sea – very, very deep water. So, we’re still assessing whether there can be any kind of recovery effort. There may not be,” he said.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Russia’s Aerospace Forces spotted a US MQ-9 drone in the area of the Crimean Peninsula on Tuesday morning. The drone’s transponders were turned off “in violation of the boundaries of the area where temporary airspace rules were established for the purpose of conducting a special military operation and brought to the attention of all users of international airspace and published in accordance with international standards,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Defense Ministry added that the drone, as a result of sharp maneuvering, went out of control, lost altitude and hit the water’s surface. Russian fighter jets did not use weapons, nor did they contact the unmanned aerial vehicle. The planes returned safely to their home airfield.
According to the European Command of the US Armed Forces, one of the two Russian Su-27 jets hit the propeller of the US drone, thus causing it to crash in the Black Sea. US President Joe Biden was notified of the incident.