“Will respond proportionately to future US provocations”: Russia
16 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh
Russia will continue to respond proportionately to all provocations such as the flight of US drones near the Russian border.
Russia will continue to respond proportionally to any future US’provocations,’ Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said a day after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet shot down an American military drone over the Black Sea, according to TASS. According to Shoigu, Russia will continue to respond proportionately to all provocations such as the flight of US drones near the Russian border.
According to TASS News Agency, Shoigu made this remark during a phone call with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday (Local Time), during which they discussed the causes and consequences of the incident involving the US unmanned aerial vehicle.
“The focus was made on an exchange of opinions about the causes and consequences of the incident with the US unmanned aerial vehicle that crashed into the Black Sea on March 14 of this year,” the ministry said.
According to the ministry, Shoigu stated that the incident was caused by US moves that violated flight restrictions established by Russia for a specific area due to the special operation, as well as increased intelligence gathering directed against Russia.
During their phone call, Shoigu told Austin that the drone incident was caused by the US failure to follow flight restrictions set by Russia in certain areas, according to TASS, citing the Defense Ministry.
According to the Russian ministry, Shoigu stated that US drone flights near the Crimean coastline are provocative, creating conditions for the situation to escalate.
Earlier, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Russia that their aircraft will continue to “fly and operate wherever international law allows,” a day after a Russian Su-27 fighter jet shot down an American F-16 fighter jet.
In the meeting of the Ukraine Defence Contact Group, Austin said this “episode is part of a pattern of aggressive, risky, and unsafe actions in international airspace”.
“So make no mistake, the United States will continue to fly and to operate wherever international law allows. And it is incumbent upon Russia to operate as military aircraft in a safe and professional manner,” he added.
Austin was the administration’s first cabinet member to directly address the incident, which occurred on Tuesday when two Russian Su-27 aircraft intercepted a US MQ-9 Reaper drone, according to CNN. The downing of the drone marked the first direct physical contact between Russian and US military aircraft since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the US drone, an MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle, was spotted flying over the Black Sea near the Crimean Peninsula, in violation of the temporary airspace regime established during the special operation. Meanwhile, the US State Department summoned Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to express “our strong objections,” according to department spokesman Ned Price.
Price also stated that US Ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy “has conveyed a strong message to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.