Russia has issued a warning to the United States to stop conducting “hostile” activities near its borders after a tense incident involving an American drone and a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea.
The clash, which took place on Tuesday, marked the first direct confrontation between the two superpowers since Russia invaded Ukraine last year. The US military said that a Russian fighter jet had harassed and collided with the propeller of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, forcing it to land in international waters. However, Russia has denied the accusations, blaming the US for conducting surveillance near its airspace to assist Ukraine.
The incident has heightened tensions between the two countries over the war in Ukraine, with the Kremlin eager to dissuade the US from supporting Kyiv. The clash is a sign of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s readiness to expand the conflict zone with the involvement of other parties, according to Oleksiy Danilov, the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council.
The US has summoned Moscow’s envoy to protest the incident, but Russia has insisted that its fighter jets did not hit the American drone or use their weapons. The incident has sparked concerns over the respect for international airspace, with British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace calling on Russia to respect such airspace.