Relations between Russia and the US are at their “lowest point” and in a “deplorable state,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists Wednesday after the US military said a Russian fighter jet forced a US Air Force drone to crash in the Black Sea.

According to Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the incident, but there was no contact at the highest level between Moscow and Washington.

Peskov added that “Russia did not refuse constructive dialogue, and is not refusing it now.” 

He pointed to a Russian Defense Ministry statement published Tuesday claiming that there was no physical contact between the aircraft.

“I suggest that you focus on the statement of the Ministry of Defense, which clearly states that no weapons were used, and there was no physical contact,” Peskov said.

The drone was conducting routine operations in international airspace on Tuesday when it was “intercepted and hit by a Russian aircraft, resulting in a crash and complete loss of the MQ-9,” Air Force Gen. James B. Hecker, commander of US Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa, said in a statement. 

The Russian ambassador to the US said Russia does not want “confrontation” with the US, but "as we see it, American aircraft have no business being near the Russian border."  

The incident marks the first time Russian and US military aircraft have come into direct physical contact since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine just over a year ago and is likely to increase tensions between the two nations, with the US calling Russia’s actions “reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional.”

CNN’s Oren Liebermann, Jennifer Hansler, Haley Britzky and Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting to this post.

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