NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has yet to publicly comment on the downing of a US MQ-9 Reaper drone by two Russian Su-27 fighter jets this week, which a NATO expert says was ” Caution may have “overdone”.
“Russia’s attack on a US drone should be widely condemned by all NATO allies,” said Marshall Billingsley, a former deputy secretary of the Navy and assistant secretary general for defense investments in NATO who now serves as a senior fellow at Hudson. have been Institute, told Fox News Digital. “Many, especially those allies on the Eastern Front, have experience with Russian pilots engaging in aggressive and unprofessional actions.”
US drone shot down by Russia in pattern of hostile ‘signaling’ to Moscow
The US has accused Russia of deliberately harassing and then shooting down a $32 million drone used for intelligence gathering. On Thursday, the Pentagon released footage showing moments when fuel was intentionally dumped on the drone before a propeller was damaged during international waters.
The Reaper drone crashed in the Black Sea, where Russian marine forces quickly began collecting the wreckage – a move similar to that used by Iran in 2019, believed to have gathered information for its drone development. .
Although British and German forces quickly responded by scrambling their own fighter pilots into the skies, NATO allies remained silent throughout the week.
NATO did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment after the footage was released.
Billingsley warned, “Russia will interpret the lack of a firm response and the imposition of a clear outcome as a sign of weakness.” “This will embolden them and could lead to an even more dangerous situation.”
Russian fighter jet shootdown with US drone was approved at ‘highest level’ of Russian government: Report
Similarly, the United Nations declined to comment on Russia’s aggression, telling reporters this week that it was awaiting further details.
“What I would say is that we have zero information about exactly what happened,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told reporters on Wednesday. “The Secretary-General’s response will be what you would expect – that he will ask for talks and to avoid any escalation.”
But when Fox News Digital asked on Thursday what the UN secretary-general’s reaction was after the footage was released by the Pentagon, Dujarric said he had “nothing new to add” following yesterday’s comments.
It is unclear whether the apparent reduction in outcry from NATO allies is a sign that a coordinated response is coming, but Billingsley said he thought the result was “dubious” and added, “The best response to Russia’s attack is to immediately f – 16s and ATACMS for Ukraine.”
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Poland said on Thursday it would become the first country to send fighter jets to Ukraine, but the US has yet to issue such a promise.
“Putin follows Lenin’s dictum: ‘You probe with bayonets: If you find flesh, you push. If you find steel, push back.’ Now is the time to show steely resolve,” he said.
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