The Defense Ministry in Russia said one of their warships prevented USS Chafee, a US Navy destroyer, from “an attempt to intrude into Russia’s territorial waters in the Sea of Japan.”
The situation occurred when Russia and China conducted joint naval drills in the Sea of Japan. Also, it follows a series of other dangerously close encounters involving Russian and US warships.
The circumstances seem to display Russia’s intention to raise efforts in hindering the US and its allies from sending their ships on missions near the Russian waters. As a result, relations between Russia and the US are at a post-Cold War low.
USS Chafee And Russian Destroyer
The Russian ministry said that their Admiral Tributs destroyer approached the US destroyer USS Chafee to chase it out of the area. They claim the US destroyer neared prohibited Russian waters due to the gunnery drills part of Russia-China exercises.
The Russian ministry said their vessel came close to the US warship after ignoring repeated warnings to leave the Peter the Great Gulf area. After “an attempt to cross the Russian sea border,” the ministry charged that the US warship changed course when they were just 60 meters (66 yards) away from each other.
They criticized the US destroyer’s movements as a “crude violation” of the international rules on averting ships’ collisions. In addition, they claimed the US violated the 1972 agreement between Moscow and Washington to prevent air and naval incidents.
However, according to a statement from the US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs, the accusations are false.
British And Russian Incident
In June, Russian claimed that one of its warships fired warning shots and dropped bombs along the path of a British destroyer. The purpose of this was to drive it away from Black Sea waters near the city of Sevastopol. However, the British denied the event, insisting the ship was not fired upon. They added that their ships were sailing towards Ukrainian waters.
Consequently, Russia warned that it is prepared to target intruding warships if they continue to disregard warnings.
Russian Response And Resolve
In a statement symbolizing Russian resolve, Vladimir Putin claimed that the incident couldn’t have triggered a global conflict even if they had sunk the British warship. He claimes because the West knows they would not win such a war.
Former Russian navy chief of staff, Retired Adm. Viktor Kravchenko, said Friday’s incident could have had tremendous consequences. “The Americans apparently wanted to test our strength,” he said.
The Russian warship’s tactics indicate Russia’s predisposition to raise the stakes to deter similar intrusions in the future.
The incident has similarities to an event that happened during the Cold War. A Soviet frigate bumped the US cruiser USS Yorktown in the Black Sea. This damaged the US warship, increasing tension even further.
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