US military refutes Russia's claims over naval face-off in Sea of Japan

WION Web Team
Moscow Published: Oct 16, 2021, 01:43 PM(IST)

A warship (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The United States has disproved of Russia’s claims that a military vessel of the country chased away an American naval destroyer that attempted to violate its territorial waters while drills between Russian and Chinese navies were underway in the Sea of Japan. The US military said the destroyer Chafee was conducting routine operations in international waters. The interactions were safe and professional

The United States has disproved of Russia’s claims that one of its military vessels chased away an American naval destroyer that attempted to violate its territorial waters while drills between Russian and Chinese navies were underway in the Sea of Japan on Friday.  

According to the US military, the guided missile destroyer Chafee was conducting routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan when a Russian destroyer came within 65 yards (60 metres) of the ship. The interactions during the incident were safe and professional.  

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In the statement, the US military said, "The statement from the Russian Defense Ministry about the interaction between our two navy ships is false. At all times, USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom.”  

Earlier, the Russian defense ministry said the crew of a Russian anti-submarine vessel, the Admiral Tributs, had radioed a warning to the USS Chafee that it was "in an area closed to navigation due to exercises with artillery fire."  

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Russian defence ministry said in its statement that the US destroyer failed to change course and instead raised a flag to indicate that it was preparing to launch helicopter from its deck, meaning it was unable to change course and speed.  

"Acting within the framework of the international rules of navigation, the Admiral Tributs set a course for ousting the intruder from Russian territorial waters," it said.

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The Chafee eventually changed course when the two vessels were less than 60 meters apart, it said.  

The ministry said that incident lasted for about 50 minutes and took place in Peter the Great Bay, which lies south of Vladivostok in the west of the Sea of Japan.  

(With inputs from agencies) 

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