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Russian ambassador says he had ‘constructive’ conversation with US on drone incident

Anatoly Antonov earlier described the US drone’s ISR mission above the Black Sea as a provocation

WASHINGTON, March 15. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov described as ‘constructive’ his latest consultations, initiated by the US Department of State over Tuesday’s incident involving a US drone in the Black Sea.

Speaking to reporters after a conversation with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, Antonov was asked whether the US side had warned him "of any consequences."

"Do you mean whether she has threatened me or not? No," he replied. "We have exchanged our remarks on this issue, because we have some differences [on] what has happened today, but it seems to me that it was a constructive conversation on this issue."

"I have heard her remarks. I hope that she has understood what I have mentioned," the Russian diplomat added.

Antonov confirmed that he had asked the US side to explain how would Washington react to a Russian combat drone flying in immediate vicinity of US borders.

"Yes, I’ve said it. I raised this issue, [asking] what would be the reaction of the United States if tomorrow, for example, a Russian drone would come to territorial waters of the United States, very close to New York or San Francisco," the Russian diplomat said. "I’ve mentioned it, yes."

The ambassador earlier described the US drone’s ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) mission above the Black Sea as a provocation. He specified that a UAV of this type can carry up to 1,700 kilograms of explosives in the form of ammunition.