Kremlin says US-Russia ties in ‘bad shape’

(Reuters) – The Kremlin ruled on Wednesday that relations between Russia and the United States were “at an all-time low and in a hopeless state” after an incident involving a US surveillance drone and Russian fighter jet in the Black Sea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there had been no high-level contact between Moscow and Washington over the clash.

The Kremlin spokesman said “bilateral relations are at their lowest level, in a hopeless state”, but “at the same time, Russia has never ruled out constructive dialogue and does not reject it today”.

The US military blamed a Russian fighter for the downing of the drone by knocking off its propeller. Air Force General James Hecker called it a “dangerous and unprofessional act” by the Russians.

Moscow denied touching the drone, suggesting it crashed in the Black Sea after a sudden maneuver.

According to White House national security spokesman John Kirby, US officials have asked Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov to be more careful when flying near US aircraft in international airspace.

“The unacceptable activity of the US military near our borders is a matter of concern,” said Anatoly Antonov. “They collect intelligence, which is used by the Kiev regime to attack our armed forces and our territory.”

When asked by CNN, John Kirby clarified that the drone that crashed on Wednesday has not yet been found.

(Reuters Office, French edition Editing by Jean-Stéphane Brosse, Blandine Heinault)

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