US politicians incite ‘apocalyptic conflict’, Russian envoy warns
The Russian ambassador to the United States accused Senator Lindsey Graham of provoking “dangerous climbing” between the two countries, after the top lawmaker urged the Pentagon to fire on Russian fighter jets.
Asked about Graham’s comments on Wednesday, Ambassador Anatoly Antonov said the senator’s call to bring down “far beyond common sense” and risked all-out war between the world’s greatest nuclear powers.
“This is by no means the first attempt by the notorious lawmaker to cause a dangerous escalation in US-Russian relations. A year ago, he urged our fellow citizens to attempt to assassinate the President of Russia,” he said. “Does Senator Graham really believe that a direct military confrontation with Russia is in the interests of the voters who have entrusted their lives and livelihoods to him?”
Is the Capitol prepared to expose American citizens and the international community to the risk of full-scale nuclear war? Give us an answer, distinguished senator!
Graham appeared on Fox News earlier Wednesday to discuss a recent close encounter between Russian fighter jets and a US MQ-9 Reaper drone near Crimea, calling for a strong response from President Joe Biden after the UAV was sent diving into the Black Sea.
“What would Ronald Reagan do right now? He would start shooting down Russian planes if they threatened our assets,” Graham told the outlet, referring to the American leader who served at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
While US officials claimed one of the Russian planes collided with the drone and caused it to crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said the unmanned vehicle crashed after stalling and had never come into contact with another aircraft.
Antonov went on to say that Moscow “has done everything possible to avoid this kind of incident”, including informing the international community “in due time on the limits of the temporary airspace regime” established in the region.
Although the ambassador said it was a “Too bad for the Pentagon to lose expensive equipment”, he insisted “Russian pilots should not be called up”, but rather American politicians, “which incite the outbreak of an apocalyptic conflict.”
Washington has flown drones and surveillance gear near the Russian border almost constantly over the past year, providing intelligence – along with weapons, ammunition and cash – to the Ukrainian government, even if he insists that he is not a party to the conflict. The exact location of this week’s drone encounter has not been confirmed by either government, although Russian media reported that the Reaper’s last location was about 60 kilometers (37 miles) to the southwest. from the Crimean port of Sevastopol.
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