WASHINGTON. March 22. /TASS/. Washington is provoking Moscow’s counter-measures by stating its intentions to continue flights in the area where Russia introduced flight restrictions over the special military operation in Ukraine, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Wednesday.
The senior Russian diplomat cited the incident with the US drone that crashed into the Black Sea.
"It [the drone] stayed in the area where we introduced a special regime over the special military operation. The Americans demonstratively, cynically and in outright public form deny the legitimacy of these steps and state their intentions to continue actions of this kind. They are, as the saying goes, ‘asking for’ our counter-measures and we warn them against the attempts to play on nerves and test our patience," Ryabkov said.
"In any case, Russia’s security will be 100% ensured by all means available to us. And no American drones, be them reconnaissance, strike, strategic or whatever other UAVs, can shake our determination," the senior Russian diplomat stressed.
As Russia’s Defense Ministry reported earlier, the Russian Aerospace Forces’ airspace control capabilities spotted a flight by a US MQ-9 drone near the Crimean Peninsula on March 14. As the ministry explained, the American reconnaissance drone flew with its transponders switched off towards the Russian border and intruded into the area covered "by the temporary regime for the airspace use established for the purposes of the special military operation [in Ukraine] and brought to the notice of all international airspace users and published in accordance with international norms."
The US drone lost control "as a result of an abrupt maneuver" and crashed into the Black Sea waters while the Russian fighter jets scrambled to intercept the intruder did not employ their onboard armaments and did not enter into contract with the UAV, the ministry specified.
According to the US version, two Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepted the MQ-9 reconnaissance drone over the Black Sea. Finally, as Washington claims, one of the fighters struck the drone’s propeller, causing it to crash.