Russia warned Washington on Wednesday that flying drones near Crimea was provocative and risked escalation.
A day after the US drone went down over the Black Sea, defence ministers and military chiefs from the US and Russia held rare phone calls.
Moscow’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu told his US counterpart, Lloyd Austin, that American drone flights by Crimea’s coast “were provocative in nature”.
“It was noted that flights by American strategic lethal drones by the Crimea coastline were provocative in nature and created pre-conditions for an escalation of the situation in the Black Sea zone,” a ministry statement said of Mr Shoigu’s phone conversation with Mr Austin.
Russia “had no interest in such a development but will in future react in due proportion”, the statement added.