Will Russian drone downing lead to outright escalation: ISW analysis
The incident with the American MQ-9 Reaper drone in the Black Sea will not cause a direct conflict between the US and Russia.
So say analysts at the Institute for the Study of War. They recalled that two Russian Su-27 aircraft shot down an American drone, which almost led to an accident of Russian aircraft.
At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry said the drone crashed due to “sharp maneuvering.”
Risks of conflict escalation
Experts believe that the incident with the drone will not lead to a direct conflict between Russia and the United States.
The incident will not escalate a direct conflict between Russia and the United States. Russian troops have used intimidation tactics against American and allied aircraft and ships in numerous theaters for decades without causing conflict, the report says.
Countries do not want open conflict
Analysts added that the presidents of the United States and Russia have complete freedom of choice regarding the response, and such incidents did not automatically become the reason for the escalation of confrontation between the countries.
Given that President Joe Biden has repeatedly spoken of wanting to avoid a direct conflict between the US military and Russia, and the Kremlin has repeatedly demonstrated its reluctance to go to war with NATO, there is no reason to believe that such incidents could escalate, the Institute added.
Note! Earlier, Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said that Moscow does not want a confrontation with the United States, but “there is nothing for American planes to do near the Russian border.”
What we know about the drone incident
- On March 14, the United States accused Russia of “dangerous and unprofessional” interception by fighter jets of an American reconnaissance drone, which led to its crash into the Black Sea.
- The Pentagon said the interception of the MQ-9 Reaper drone took place in international airspace.
- According to Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, the Russian jets dropped fuel on the MQ-9 in an apparent attempt to blind or damage it and flew in front of the drone before one of the fighter jets hit the drone's propeller.
- State Department spokesman Ned Price said the incident was a clear violation of international law.