Russian, U.S. defense ministers discuss drone incident over phone

Li Jiayao
2023-03-16 09:27:54

MOSCOW, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin held a phone conversation on Wednesday to exchange views on the causes and consequences of a U.S. drone crashing into the Black Sea on Tuesday.

Shoigu pointed out that the causes of the incident were the U.S. non-compliance with the declared flight restriction zone set by Russia in connection with its special military operation as well as the strengthened U.S. intelligence activities against Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Shoigu noted that the flights of American strategic drones off the coast of Crimea are of a provocative nature, which creates prerequisites for an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea region.

Russia is not interested in such a development of events but it will continue to respond proportionately to all provocations, the ministry said, adding that the major nuclear powers, at the same time, must act as responsibly as possible, including maintaining military communication channels to discuss emergencies.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday, Russian fighter jets were scrambled to identify a U.S. MQ-9 drone approaching the Russian state border, and the unmanned aerial vehicle crashed into the Black Sea due to its own sharp maneuvering.

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