Friday’s incident came as Russia and China were conducting joint naval exercises in the region, and follows other close encounters involving Russian and Western warships. This seems to reflect Moscow’s intention to raise the stakes to deter the United States and its allies from sending their ships on missions near Russian waters, as relations between Russia and the West are at their lowest afterwards. the Cold War.
There was no immediate response from Washington.
The ministry said the Russian Navy destroyer Admiral Tributs approached the US destroyer USS Chafee to force it out of the area near Russian waters which had been declared off-limits to navigation due to artillery exercises. there as part of the Russian-Chinese maneuvers.
He said the Russian ship approached the US warship after ignoring repeated warnings to leave the Peter the Great Gulf area. The ministry accused that after attempting “to cross the Russian maritime border”, the American warship changed course when the two ships were only 60 meters apart and sped off. at full speed.
He denounced the maneuvers of the American destroyer as a “gross violation” of international rules on the prevention of ship collisions and of a 1972 agreement between Moscow and Washington on the prevention of air and naval incidents.
In June, Russia said one of its warships fired warning shots and a warplane dropped bombs on the way to the British destroyer Defender to clear it from the waters of the Black Sea near from the Crimean city of Sevastopol. The UK denied the account, insisting its ship was not shot and said it was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
Like most countries in the world, Britain recognizes Crimea as part of Ukraine despite Russia annexing the peninsula in 2014.
The June incident marked the first time since the Cold War that Moscow acknowledged using live ammunition to deter a NATO warship, underscoring the growing threat of military collisions amid Russian-Western tensions.
Moscow warned in June that it was ready to target intruding warships if they ignored the warnings.
Russia’s relations with the West have fallen to their lowest since the Cold War, following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, accusations of Russian interference in elections, hacking attacks and others. tensions.
In other recent naval incidents, the Russian military has said that the British destroyer HMS Dragon entered Russian waters near Crimea in October 2020, and that the American destroyer USS John S McCain violated the Russian border. in the Sea of Japan in November.
Following these incidents, Russia rejected American and British arguments that their warships exercised the right of so-called “innocent passage” under international maritime law.
The Russian warship’s maneuver in Friday’s incident seems to indicate that Moscow is ready to raise the stakes to prevent similar intrusions in the future.
The dangerously close encounter rekindled memories of a Cold War incident when a Soviet frigate struck the American cruiser USS Yorktown in the Black Sea while making an “innocent passage” through Russian waters in 1988, damaging the American warship.