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China is hoping that there will be a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine and is urging Russia and Ukraine to come to the peace negotiating table, China’s foreign minister told his Ukrainian counterpart in a telephone conversation on Thursday.
China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Qin Gang told Dmytro Kuleba that China has “committed itself to promoting peace and carrying forward dialogue and called on the international community to create conditions for peace talks”. Is.”
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Qin also said that “China hopes that all sides will remain calm, reasonable and restrained,” according to the statement, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.
The US military on Thursday released a video of a Russian military intercept that resulted in the downing of an American surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.
The video shows a Russian Sukhoi Su-27 dumping fuel as it approaches a US MQ-9 drone from behind and passes overhead.
A second Sukhoi Su-27 approaches in a similar fashion, and as it approaches the drone, the video feed is interrupted when the US military says the Russian fighter jet hit the drone.
A final shot shows the video feed restored and one of the drone’s propeller blades bent.
The video was released a day after US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to his Russian counterpart about the encounter.
Austin told reporters after making the announcement, “The United States will continue to fly and operate wherever international law allows, and it is up to Russia to operate its military aircraft in a safe and professional manner.” ” With Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
According to officials, this was the first call between the two defense leaders since October.
Meanwhile, Poland became the first NATO country to send fighter jets to Ukraine, agreeing to send four Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets to Kiev’s forces in the coming days. The US and other Western allies have so far balked at Kiev’s demand for attack jets.
According to the US military, the downed US MQ-9 drone was conducting “routine operations” in international airspace on Tuesday when it was intercepted by a pair of Russian Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets. The US military brought down the drone in international waters after a Russian jet hit the drone’s propeller.
“We know the interception was intentional. We know the aggressive behavior was intentional. We also know it is very unprofessional and very unsafe,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Wednesday. told reporters.
Milley said he is “not sure yet” whether the physical contact between the Russian aircraft and the drone was intentional.
Russia said it was considering whether to try to retrieve the drone, but US officials said its operatives destroyed the drone to prevent Russia from gathering secret information before sending the plane into the Black Sea. But were able to delete the sensitive software.
The US does not have ships in the Black Sea, which is largely controlled by Russia.
“But we have a lot of allies and friends in the region, and we will work through the recovery operations. She is America’s asset,” Milley said.
Another top US military leader, General Eric Kurilla, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that since March 1, the US is “seeing an increase in unprofessional and unsafe behavior by the Russian Air Force.” He said the Russian fighter jets are armed. on US bases in Syria “in an attempt to try and provoke provocations.”
Kurilla said that Russia “tries to renegotiate the contraindications protocol that they violate every day.”
Russia denied that its Su-27 jet came into contact with a US drone and blamed the crash on the operation of the drone. A US military official told Granthshala that the unmanned MQ-9 has not yet been recovered. State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday the US had summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the incident.
The Russian Defense Ministry Telegram channel reported on Wednesday that Shoigu accused the United States of “non-observance of the restricted flight zone declared by the Russian Federation, which was established as part of a special military operation” for the incident. Was.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Austin and Milley hosted the 10th meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, more than a year after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
There were 51 participants in the virtual meeting. Milley said the group promised “a broad mix of air defense systems” in addition to providing more artillery, armor and ammunition. For example, Sweden will provide 10 more Leopard tanks to Ukraine, and Norway will partner with the United States to provide two additional National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, or NASAMS.
“Ukraine matters. It doesn’t just matter to Ukraine or the United States, it matters to the world. It’s about the rules-based international order,” Austin told reporters on Wednesday.
He said, “Russia’s potential and friends are coming to an end.” “Putin still hopes he can weaken Ukraine and keep us waiting, so we can’t give up, and we won’t.”
China Calls for Ukraine-Russia Peace Talks
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