US officers say surveillance flights over the Black Sea have resumed regardless of Russia’s downing of the MQ-9 Reaper drone.
Russia has conferred state awards on the 2 fighter pilots concerned within the downing of a US surveillance drone that crashed into the Black Sea, the Russian Defence Ministry stated, whereas United States officers introduced that its spy flights within the area have resumed.
Presenting the awards on Friday to the Su-27 jet fighter pilots, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu lauded their achievement in stopping the drone from flying into an space close to Crimea to which Moscow has banned entry.
“The drone flew with its transponders off, violating the boundaries of the world of the short-term airspace utilization regime established for the particular navy operation [and] communicated to all customers of worldwide airspace,” Russia’s defence ministry stated in an announcement, in accordance with The Moscow Occasions.
Professional-Kremlin political analyst Sergei Markov stated the awards for the pilots have been “a transparent signal that Russia will hold downing” US drones.
“This choice will obtain a powerful assist from the Russian society that wishes the federal government to toughen its coverage,” Markov wrote in a commentary.
Russia’s presentation of the awards comes a day after the US navy launched a declassified 42-second video clip displaying the Russian Su-27 fighter jets intercepting the drone and making shut passes whereas dumping gas in an obvious bid to wreck the drone’s optical and different hi-tech devices.
The US navy stated it was compelled to ditch the MQ-9 Reaper drone within the Black Sea after one of many Russian jets struck the drone’s propeller whereas it was flying in worldwide airspace. Russia has denied that its jets brought on any bodily hurt to the US drone, alleging it crashed whereas making a pointy manoeuvre.
US officers have stated the restoration of what remained of the completed could be tough as a result of deep water within the Black Sea. However Russian state media reported that Russian navy forces have detected the drone’s wreckage some 60km (37 miles) from the Crimean port metropolis of Sevastopol at a depth of 850-900 meters (2,788-2,952 ft), in accordance with The Moscow Occasions.
Although Moscow and Washington initially traded sturdy phrases over the drone incident, the US appeared intent on easing rigidity by declaring it was unknown whether or not the Russian pilot had deliberately struck the uncrewed plane.
Russian officers additionally emphasised the necessity to keep traces of communication with Washington after the incident, whereas on the identical time harshly denouncing the US for working surveillance flights on its borders in addition to sharing navy intelligence with Ukraine that will be used to assault Russian forces.
US officers stated on Friday that its surveillance drone flights over the Black Sea had already resumed.
An RQ-Four International Hawk flew a mission to the area on Friday, two officers instructed the Reuters information company, with one including that it was the primary such drone flight because the downing of the drone on Tuesday.