Russia says it will try to retrieve remains of U.S. drone

Russia's Security Council Secretary Patrushev attends a meeting of Defence Ministry Board in Moscow

(Reuters) - Russia said on Wednesday it would try to retrieve the remains of a U.S. military surveillance drone that fell into the Black Sea after an incident involving Russian fighter planes, accusing Washington of "directly participating" in the war in Ukraine.

The U.S. military said on Tuesday that a Russian fighter jet clipped the propeller of one of its spy drones as it flew over the Black Sea in international air space, causing it to crash.

Russia denied being responsible for the crash and said relations with the United States had reached their "lowest point".

Kremlin Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told the Rossiya-1 TV channel: "I don't know whether we will be able to retrieve it or not, but that it has to be done. And we'll certainly work on it. I hope, of course, successfully."

"Secondly, regarding the drone - the Americans keep saying they're not taking part in military operations. This is the latest confirmation that they are directly participating in these activities - in the war," he said.

White House spokesman John Kirby said the drone may never be recovered, but that U.S. authorities had taken precautions to ensure Russia's ability to draw useful intelligence from the craft would be limited if a Russian team did so.

(Writing by Caleb Davis; Editing by Kevin Liffey)