WORLD – USA
Following last Tuesday’s collision between an MQ-9 Reaper drone and a Russian aircraft, the US has shifted its drone flights away from the airspace surrounding the Crimean peninsula and eastern Black Sea, CNN reported, citing its sources.
The new drone routes, according to an unnamed US official, were chosen to “not be too provocative” for Russia.
The Biden administration has been careful to avoid any incidents that could escalate the situation towards direct conflict between Washington and Moscow.
Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, in response to Russian accusations that the drone was in an area where it did not belong, said last week that the US would continue to “fly where international law allows”. So, having adjusted their drone routes, the Americans appear to have conceded to the Russians after all.
Under international law, the boundaries of territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles (about 22.2km) from the coast, and there are no international norms allowing a country to unilaterally declare an area its exclusive air or sea space during a conflict outside its recognised borders.
On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Sergei Ryabkov urged the US not to continue drone flights over the Black Sea as they exacerbate the conflict in Ukraine and make NATO a direct participant in it.
According to CNN, the change of drone flight plans will be temporary. It is also reported that there is already a growing sentiment in the US to return to previous routes and get closer to Crimea.
Sources: CNN / novinky.cz