Russian, U.S. defence ministers speak by phone after U.S. drone crash

March 15 (Reuters) - The Russian and U.S. defence ministers held a phone call on Wednesday, the Russian defence ministry said, a day after a U.S. military drone crashed over the Black Sea in an incident Washington called "unsafe" and "reckless"

Moscow said the request for the call came from the United States, but provided no other details of the conversation between Sergei Shoigu and his U.S. counterpart, Lloyd Austin.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin speaks at a news conference following a virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting, at the Pentagon in Washington, U.S., March 15, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

The call came after officials in Moscow and Washington accused each other in the crash of a U.S. military surveillance drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday.

The United States said Russian jets hits the propeller of the drone, while Moscow says no contact was made and blamed "sharp maneuvering" by the U.S. aircraft for the incident.

Contact between senior Russian and U.S. officials has been rare in the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, with relations between the two sides having plummeted to their lowest in decades.

Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Cynthia Osterman

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