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Kremlin claims 'provocations' from US drones over Black Sea, prepares potential response

by Chris York June 28, 2024 11:07 AM 2 min read
Ships anchored in the Black Sea await to enter the Sulina canal, one of the spilling points of the river Danube to the Black Sea in Sulina, south-eastern Romania, on June 8, 2022. (Photo by Daniel Mihailescu/AFP via Getty Images)
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Moscow's defense minister has ordered the Russian army to develop measures to deal with what the ministry called "provocations" from U.S. strategic drones operating over the Black Sea, saying they are increasing the risk of a "direct confrontation" between Russia and NATO.

In a statement on June 28, the Russian Defense Ministry said the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were being used to conduct reconnaissance and find targets for "high-precision weapons supplied to the Armed Forces of Ukraine by Western states."

"This indicates the increasing involvement of the U.S. and NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine on the side of the Kyiv regime," the statement added.

NATO drones operating over the Black Sea are no secret and can be followed using publicly available flight-tracking websites.

The Black Sea has become one of the main theaters of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with Kyiv having multiple successes striking Russia's naval forces in the region.

Any country can fly drones over the areas of the Black Sea designated international waters, so long as they enter over the territorial waters of a country which gives its permission.

NATO drones operating in such a manner are not breaking international law and do not enter Russian airspace.

However, Russia claimed that "such flights greatly increase the likelihood of incidents in the airspace with aircraft of the Russian Aerospace Forces, which increases the risk of direct confrontation between the alliance and the Russian Federation," adding that "NATO countries will be responsible for this."

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