What does downed drone mean for U.S.-Russia relations?

  • A Russian fighter jet collided with a US surveillance drone
  • The Pentagon and Russian officials have different accounts of what happened
  • Analysts discuss what this could mean for U.S.-Russia relations

(NewsNation) — A Russian fighter jet collided with a large U.S. surveillance drone over the Black Sea. Now, U.S. and Russian officials are having conflicting accounts of what happened.

The Pentagon says two Russian Su-27 aircraft dumped fuel on the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone. The drone was reportedly conducting a surveillance mission over the Black Sea in international airspace. The Pentagon reports that the Russian jets flew around the drone multiple times for around 30 to 40 minutes before one of the Russian aircraft hit the MQ-9’s propeller, forcing the U.S. to bring it down into international waters.

The Russian Defense Ministry has a different story. They say the U.S. drone was flying near Russia’s border and in an area declared off-limits by Russian authorities. The ministry claims their aircraft struggled to intercept the drone but did not use their weapons or come into contact with it.

What does this mean for U.S.-Russia relations? Dmitri Alprovich, founder of the Silverado Policy Accelerator, and Phil Wegmann, White House correspondent for RealClearPolitics, discuss the issue with “On Balance” host Leland Vittert. Watch their conversation in the video player above.

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