| 16 June 2024, Sunday |

Deliberate attack on Russian aircraft would be ‘open declaration of war’: Envoy

Moscow’s ambassador to the US said that a deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in international airspace would be “an open declaration of war.”

“A deliberate attack on a Russian aircraft in neutral airspace is not just a crime under international law, but an open declaration of war against the largest nuclear power,” Anatoly Antonov said in a statement released by the Russian Embassy in the US on Telegram on late Wednesday.

Antonov said that a possible armed conflict between Russia and the US would be “radically different” from the war in Ukraine.

“Is the Capitol willing to put American citizens and the international community at risk of a full-scale nuclear war? Give us an answer, distinguished Senator!” he said.

Antonov said it is US politicians that should be called out for “inciting the start of an apocalyptic conflict,” not Russian pilots.

“We do not seek a conflict with nuclear power. We continue to maintain contacts, including through the Defense Ministry, to prevent unintentional incidents. I wish US politicians had the same attitude toward relations with Russia,” Antonov said.

“The Russian Ministry of Defense has explained in detail the reasons and course of actions of Russian pilots during yesterday’s incident over the Black Sea. I repeat, for those who have not gathered themselves to look at the situation objectively: our fighters did not come into contact with the American UAV,” he added.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said that a Russian Su-27 fighter jet collided with a MQ-9 Reaper drone, bringing the unmanned aerial vehicle down in international waters.

Russia denied that its fighter jets came into contact with the drone but said it will attempt to retrieve the wreckage of the drone.

Antonov previously said that the drone was gathering reconnaissance information to convey it to Ukraine for strikes against Russia.

  • Anadolu Agency