Russian Warship ‘Aggressively Approached’ US Destroyer in Arabian Sea: Navy

January 10, 2020 Updated: January 11, 2020
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A Russian warship “aggressively approached” a U.S. Navy destroyer as it operated in the North Arabian Sea on Thursday and ignored warnings from a U.S. vessel and risked getting into an accident, according to a statement from the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

“On Thursday, Jan. 9, while conducting routine operations in the North Arabian Sea, USS Farragut was aggressively approached by a Russian Navy ship,” the Fifth Fleet wrote in a statement.

“Farragut sounded five short blasts, the international maritime signal for danger of a collision, and requested the Russian ship alter course in accordance with international rules of the road. The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course,” the statement said, adding: “While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision.”

In another statement, the Navy said the Russian ship eventually turned around.

“The Russian ship initially refused but ultimately altered course and the two ships opened distance from one another. While the Russian ship took action, the initial delay in complying with international rules while it was making an aggressive approach increased the risk of collision. The U.S. Navy continues to remain vigilant and is trained to act in a professional manner,” the Navy wrote.

Two videos posted by the Navy showed the purported Russian ship traveling quite close to the Fifth Fleet’s vessel.

According to CNN, the Navy said the Farragut is part of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier group. It is tasked with intercepting potential enemy ships so they won’t get close to the carrier.

The incident is another example of close encounters between Russian and U.S. military forces that American officials have described as reckless.

Thursday’s encounter comes about seven months after another incident in the Pacific Ocean when U.S. and Russian ships came close to one another. U.S. officials said it had to perform an emergency maneuver to avoid crashing.

In August, Russia confirmed it flew nuclear-capable bombers to a region close to Alaska as part of a training routine.

“Two strategic missile carriers Tu-160 of the Russian Aerospace Forces made a non-stop flight from a base point to the Anadyr airfield,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement on Twitter at the time. “The flight duration was more than eight hours, during which time the crews covered more than 6 thousand kilometers.”