Below is the first public response of Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Antonov, to the Black Sea Incident today:
“Today, on March 14, I was invited to the State Department where I categorically rejected all the insinuations of the US side. I explained the position of the Russian Federation. I stressed that the American UAV that was moving deliberately and provocatively towards the Russian territory with its transponders turned off violated the boundaries of the temporary airspace regime established for the special military operation, which was communicated to the all concerned users of international airspace in accordance with international norms.
At the same time, the Russian fighters scrambled to identify the intruder did not use on-board weapons and did not come into contact with the UAV.
The unacceptable actions of the United States military in the close proximity to our borders are cause for concern. We are well aware of the missions such reconnaissance and strike drones are used for.
According to National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby, US UAVs make these kinds of overflights on a daily basis. What do they do thousands of miles away from the United States? The answer is obvious – they gather intelligence which is later used by the Kiev regime to attack our armed forces and territory.
Let us ask a rhetorical question: if, for example, a Russian strike drone appeared near New York or San Francisco, how would the US Air Force and Navy react? I am quite confident that the US military would act in an uncompromising way and would not allow its airspace or territorial waters to be breached.
We proceed from the fact that the United States will refrain from further speculations in the media landscape and stop making sorties near the Russian borders.
We perceive any actions involving the use of American weapons and military equipment as openly hostile. Let me remind you that Washington has already supplied Kiev with $33 billion worth of arms. Just think about this number! It is absolutely clear that it is the United States that is leading the situation to a deliberate escalation fraught with a direct armed conflict.
We believe it is important that the lines of communication should remain open. Russia does not seek confrontation and stands for pragmatic cooperation in the interests of the peoples of our countries.”