(WFXR) — Assistant Professor of International Studies, Dr. Tim Passmore says he doesn’t consider this event an act of war.

“Was it a deliberate attempt by Russia to provoke the United States into some kind of escalatory activity? At the moment this looks like it is not the case,” said Dr. Passmore.

Instead, he believes Russia is trying to assert its dominance.

“More than likely what this is is Russia showing some resolve, trying to posture and show that it is still powerful,” said Dr. Passmore

Dr. Passmore explained the ongoing Ukraine conflict, it’s no secret that Russia is struggling significantly. So, this incident could be a result of Russia lashing out to gain a win in whichever area they can.

Virginia state Senator Tim Kaine calls the event an “un-called for act of aggression. “

“There is no doubt this reaper was over international waters, it was not over Russia. We very carefully de-conflict to ensure we are not in Russian airspace,” Senator Time Kaine.

Dr. Passmore says international waters means it is legal for countries to fly civilian, and military aircraft for surveillance purposes.

When it comes to retaliation, he adds this incident should not cause the United States to act with force, instead, to act diplomatically.