Russia is very upset!
Anatoly Antonov, the Russian Ambassador to the United States, warned that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham’s (S.C.) suggestion that the United States shoot down Russian warcraft flying close to American assets in international waters would be considered “an open declaration of war.”
The Russian embassy published the Russian Ambassador’s statement, following remarks Graham made in a Tuesday (March 14) appearance on Fox News.
Graham made the comments to Fox News host Sean Hannity, where he proposed President Joe Biden should tell Russia that if they “ever get near another U.S. asset flying in international waters, [Russia’s] airplane will be shot down.”
Graham’s remarks were a reference to a collision between two Russian fighter jets that had collided with a United States unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVl over the Black Sea.
According to reporting on the incident by the U.S. European Command (EUCOM), the Russian fighter jets had dumped their fuel on the drone before flying in from of the UAV and striking one of its propellers, causing it to fly off.
An official for the U.S. described the event as an “unsafe and unprofessional act.”
According to Newsweek, Antonov had defended the incident, claiming Russian pilots took the drone down because its mission was to aid Ukrainians in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
However, U.S. communications on the incident describe that the United States was carrying out its routine operations when it was ultimately shot down because it was “intercepted” by the Russian warcraft.
Antonov defended Russia’s actions, declaring that Russia’s warcraft hadn’t “come into contact with the American UAV.”