Rubio says Russian jet collision with U.S. drone was

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Thursday that the recent A Russian plane collided with an American drone. There was a “deliberate effort” by Russia, which is checking the borders with the US.

“This was not an accident. This was not a harassment attempt that, you know, went bad,” Rubio said on “CBS Mornings.”

“This is a direct test of the Biden administration,” he said. “They’re trying to see what the limits are, and that’s a message of their displeasure. But more importantly, I think it’s a test of whether we’re going to respond, if we fly. continue or cause this. We will no longer fly in this area.”

Rubio said the US should not panic and should continue to send aircraft to the region.

“I think our response would be to fly more of them into the area and possibly escort them by American fighter jets, which are manned and have the ability to respond,” Rubio said. It added that unmanned drones are to be flown for surveillance and spying purposes. “Fully” in accordance with international law. “I think we should be flying more of them, we shouldn’t stop flying them and in many cases we should be ready to scramble the jets and respond if they are threatened by Russian aircraft.”

Video of the incidentReleased Thursday morning, it shows the unmanned $30 million MQ-9 “Reaper” drone flying over the Black Sea near Ukraine. The drone was conducting an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance mission in international airspace over international waters, US officials said said earlier this week. The video, released by the Pentagon, shows a fighter jet passing by and allegedly hitting the drone’s propeller.

The Russian jet “dumped fuel on the MQ-9’s propeller and collided with it, forcing US forces to bring the MQ-9 down in international waters,” the Air Force said in a statement accompanying the video.

According to US officials, the drone was crashed by the US in the Black Sea and sensitive data was wiped from the device. Rubio said that while the airspace and waters above it were considered international, Russia had declared the airspace restricted.

Rubio also addressed comments from his state’s governor, Republican Ron DeSantis, who recently called the war between Russia and Ukraine a “territorial conflict” And not one of America’s “vital national interests.”

Rubio said that the United States must stand with Ukraine to maintain its position on the world stage.

“Ukraine is not the most important national security issue facing the United States, but it is not unimportant. There are important interests involved, and one of them is that we have not only invested money in Ukraine, we have invested our Dignity and invested in your dignity. Credibility,” Rubio said. “What the Chinese are arguing is that the West is in deep decline, America is a rapidly declining, once-great superpower, and they’re not going to do anything, they’re not going to confront China.”

“If we cut and run now, if we withdraw from our commitment to Ukraine, the Chinese will point to it and say to their allies, ‘How can you trust America? They’re not there. are leaving. They left Afghanistan in chaos and they … couldn’t sustain the effort against Russia in Ukraine,” Rubio continued.

Instead, he said, the United States should continue to provide Ukraine with much-needed aid. Rubio said it’s also important to “get rich countries like Germany to do more” and “do their part” to help Ukraine and make sure no money is wasted.

“I don’t think we have zero interest there, and therefore our efforts shouldn’t be zero,” Rubio said.

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