Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, has said that the presence of American drones in the Black Sea is a provocation. This statement was made after an American drone crashed in the Black Sea on Tuesday. Antonov met with Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried, who protested the “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” of the drone that resulted in its loss. Antonov told reporters after the meeting that US drones, planes and ships had no business being that close to Russian borders.
He also asked what the reaction of the US media or the Pentagon would be if such a drone appeared near New York or San Francisco. Antonov described the talks with Donfried as “constructive” and said both sides shared their concerns. The US and Russia need to be “extremely cautious” how they act, given the current situation in Eastern Europe, he added. He also told Donfried that Moscow is seeking “pragmatic relations” and not conflict with the US.
Antonov had pointed out that the drone was of a type that can carry multiple missiles and bombs. The MQ-9 was developed as a “hunter-killer” variant of the MQ-1 Predator.