Mom NATO after Russia shot down an American drone; “Time to show steely determination,” says expert
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has not yet publicly commented on the situation. US MQ-9 Reaper drone shot down by two Russian Su-27 fighters this week, in what one NATO expert said could be “an over-caution.”
“All NATO allies should widely condemn Russia’s attack on a U.S. drone,” said Marshall Billingsley, former Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment, who is currently a senior fellow at the Hudson Lab. institute, Fox News Digital reported. “Many, especially allies on the eastern front, have experience of Russian pilots engaging in aggressive and unprofessional activities.”
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The US accused Russia of targeting and then destroying a $32 million drone that was used to collect intelligence. On Thursday, the Pentagon released footage showing moments when fuel was deliberately dropped into the drone before the propeller was damaged in international waters.
Reaper drone crashed into the Black Sea, where the Russian naval forces were located quickly began to collect debris — a move similar to that used by Iran in 2019, which is believed to have then collected information to develop its own drone.
Although British and German troops immediately responded by taking to the skies with their fighter pilots, NATO allies remained silent for a week.
NATO did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment after the video was posted.
“Russia will interpret the lack of a tough response and the imposition of clear consequences as a sign of weakness,” Billingsley warned. “It will give them courage and could lead to an even more dangerous situation.”
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Similarly, the UN also refused comment on Russian aggression and told reporters this week that he was waiting for more information.
“I will say that we have no information about what exactly happened,” Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN Secretary General, told reporters on Wednesday. “The reaction of the Secretary General will be what you expect – he will call for dialogue and the avoidance of any escalation.”
But when asked by Fox News Digital on Thursday what the UN secretary-general’s reaction was to the footage released by the Pentagon, Dujarric said he had “nothing to add” after yesterday’s comments.
It is not clear whether a clear lack of protest from NATO allies is a sign that a coordinated response is coming, but Billingslea said he considers the outcome “doubtful” and said, “The best response to a Russian attack would be to immediately provide Ukraine with F-16s and ATACMS.”
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Poland on Thursday said it would be the first country to send fighter jets to Ukraine, but the US has yet to make a similar promise.
“Putin follows Lenin’s dictum: “Feel with bayonets: if you find porridge, press it. If you find steel, retreat.” The time has come to show steely determination,” he added.