Russia Vows To Respond To US Provocations

Intensified spying by American drones near Ukraine could lead to an escalation and Russia will respond proportionally to future intelligence-gathering operations, Moscow’s defence chief has told his US counterpart.

The comments came in a phone conversation on Wednesday between Sergei Shoigu and Pentagon boss Lloyd Austin after the United States accused a Russian Su-27 fighter jet of colliding with one of its Reaper surveillance drones, forcing it to crash into the Black Sea.

“It was noted that flights by American strategic lethal drones by the Crimea coastline were provocative in nature and created pre-conditions for an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea zone,” a defence ministry statement quoted Shoigu as saying.

“[Russia] has no interest in such a development, but it will continue to respond proportionately to all provocations.”

It was the first such military incident between Moscow and Washington since President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022.

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