Russian authorities say that they will try to recover the fragments of a US surveillance drone that American forces brought down in the Black Sea after an encounter with Russian fighter jets.
Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia's Security Council, said in remarks televised Wednesday that Russia planned to search for the drone's debris.
I don't know if we can recover them or not, but we will certainly have to do that, and we will deal with it, Patrushev said. I certainly hope for success.
U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the drone was flying in international airspace and over international waters when the encounter with the Russian fighter took place Tuesday.
He stressed that the drone's presence over the Black Sea was not an uncommon occurrence. Kirby said the MQ-9 Reaper drone had not yet been recovered and it was unclear whether it would be.
Patrushev claimed the drone incident underlined the U.S. engagement in the hostilities in Ukraine. Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, also noted that Russia has the capability to recover the drone's fragments.