The US military said that the destroyer Chaffee was conducting routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan when a Russian destroyer approached it 60 meters away, although all communications with it were safe and professional..
“The statement of the Russian Ministry of Defense about the interaction between our two ships is incorrect,” the US military statement said“.
“The USS Chaffee always conducts its operations in accordance with international law and custom,” he added“.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the crew of the Russian ship, Admiral Tributes, sent a radio warning signal to the American ship, Chaffee, and informed it that it had “entered an area closed to navigation due to artillery fire exercises.”“.
The ministry added in a statement that the American destroyer did not change its course and instead raised flags indicating that it was preparing to launch a helicopter from its surface, which means that it cannot rotate or change speed..
“Within the framework of international navigation rules, (the ship) Admiral Tributes has identified a way to remove the infiltrator from Russian territorial waters,” the statement said.“.
She added that the ship Chafee changed course in the end when the distance between the two ships was less than 60 meters, noting that this accident lasted about 50 minutes and took place in a bay located west of the Sea of Japan..
The Russian Information Agency said that the Russian Defense Ministry summoned the US military attache, who was briefed on the “unprofessional behavior” of the destroyer’s crew, which “brazenly violated international laws relating to the prevention of collisions with ships at sea.”“.
This is the second time in four months that Russia has said it chased a warship of a NATO member state from its waters. In June, Russia accused a British destroyer of violating its territorial waters off the Crimean peninsula in the Black Sea, and said it had forced it away. Britain rejected Moscow’s account of the incident, saying at the time that its ship was sailing legally in Ukrainian waters..
The ministry said earlier that Russia and China had conducted joint naval exercises in the Sea of Japan and exercises on how to work together and destroy floating enemy mines with artillery fire..
Relations between Russia and the United States are at their lowest point in the post-Cold War era, although President Vladimir Putin said this week that he has built a strong relationship with his US counterpart Joe Biden and sees potential for improved relations..