The U.S. military said a Russian fighter plane clipped the propeller of one of its spy drones and made it crash into the Black Sea on Tuesday in the first such direct encounter between the two powers since the Ukraine war began over a year ago.

Iran PressEurope: The Russian defence ministry offered a different account and Moscow's ambassador to Washington said his country viewed the incident involving a U.S. MQ-9 drone and Russian Su-27 fighter jet as a provocation, Reuters reported.

Russia's defence ministry denied that its aircraft had come into contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which it said had crashed after "sharp manoeuvring". It said the drone had been detected near the Crimea peninsula, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

"The Russian fighters did not use their onboard weapons, did not come into contact with the UAV and returned safely to their home airfield," the defence ministry said.

The accounts of the incident in the Black Sea, which is bordered by Russia and Ukraine among other countries, could not be independently verified.

Russia's Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov was summoned by the U.S. State Department to discuss what happened over the Black Sea, spokesperson Ned Price said.


Read more:

Russia extends Black Sea grain deal by 60 days

Russians claim control over Bakhmut's east, Ukrainians defiant