US chief of staff: 'We don't want armed conflict with Russia'

US chief of staff: 'We don't want armed conflict with Russia'
Credit: Belga

The United States does not want an escalation following Tuesday's military incident with Russia over the Black Sea, US Chief of Staff Mark Milley said at a press briefing in Washington on Wednesday.

Incidents happen, he said, adding: "Clearly we do not seek armed conflict with Russia.”

The US military on Tuesday accused the Russians of intercepting a US MQ-9 drone over the Black Sea. One of two Russian warplanes allegedly collided with the propeller – located at the back of the drone – after which the US military was forced to crash the unmanned aircraft into the Black Sea.

Moscow, in turn, denies being responsible for the plane’s crash. Russian aircraft did intercept the drone but did not use any weapons or have contact with it, the Defence Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, circulated through the state news agency, TASS.

Milley said on Wednesday that the US government was considering releasing footage of the incident to clarify it.

"We know that the intercept was intentional. We know that the aggressive behavior was intentional. We also know it was very unprofessional and very unsafe," he said at the briefing. However, he added that "the actual contact" between the Russian fighter and the drone was "not sure yet."

"That remains to be seen," he said.

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