According to the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Antonov referred to the incident with a US drone that crashed on Tuesday in the Black Sea. To that, he said that “everyone knows the purpose of these reconnaissance and attack unmanned aerial vehicles.”
The diplomat added that the said drones collect information that Ukraine later uses to attack Russian territory, therefore this incident can be considered a provocation.
A note published on Tuesday by the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Aerospace Forces detected the US drone (an MQ-9 Reaper) near the Crimean peninsula and headed towards the Russian border, violating the provisional regime for the use of airspace over the Black Sea.
The statement also said that a pair of Su-27 fighters were scrambled to intercept the intruder, and did not use weapons or come into contact with the UAV, and returned safely to their base airfield after the drone went down at sea after a “sudden maneuver”.
The European Command of the United States denounced in turn that during an “unsafe and unprofessional” interception maneuver, one of the jets hit the propeller of the drone, which was “operating within international space over the Black Sea.”