The Russian Defense Ministry denied that one of its naval vessels acted in an inappropriate way after the U.S. Navy accused the warship of aggressively approaching the USS Farragut in the Arabian Sea last week.
“It was the U.S. Navy destroyer, being on the left of the Russian warship that was moving forward, grossly violated international rules for preventing collisions of ships at sea on January 9, 2020, having made a maneuver to cross [the Russian ship’s] course,” the statement said, reported CNN. “The crew of the Russian warship acted professionally, taking a maneuver that prevented a collision with the intruder vessel,” the Russian Defense Ministry said.
It comes after the U.S. Navy said the Russian ship ignored warnings and risked getting into an accident with the Farragut. The Navy’s Fifth Fleet also posted videos of the Russian ship appearing to get quite close to its U.S. counterpart.
“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 Navy 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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/OGCeAGKOy3
— U.S. 5th Fleet (@US5thFleet) January 10, 2020
In an additional 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.
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.”