Russia and the US have conflicting accounts of an incident involving a US drone and Russian fighter jets over the Black Sea on 19 June. The Russian Ministry of Defence claims the drone was not intercepted and instead fell into the sea following a sudden manoeuvre. However, the US state that one of the Russian jets touched the drone’s propeller and caused it to crash. The drone was potentially full of sensitive reconnaissance technology that the US does not want to fall into Russian hands. The US has not yet given these drones to Ukraine due to this concern. The Russian ambassador to the US has accused the US of “provocation” and urged the nation to halt its operations near the Russian border. The US is considering releasing footage of the collision to support its account of events. The spokesperson for the US National Security Council, John Kirby, has stated that the US has the right to carry out reconnaissance flights in international waters. There have been no moves by either side to increase tension beyond this verbal sparring.
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