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October 18, 2021

US Navy rejects Russian MoD’s claims on naval interaction

The US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs claimed that the ships’ interactions were 'safe and professional'.

The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has said that one of its military vessels prevented a US destroyer’s attempt to violate the country’s national border.

In a Facebook post, the MoD claimed that US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) approached the territorial waters of Russia on 15 October.

The US destroyer, which has been operating in the Sea of Japan, was warned by the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs.

It was notified that the area was closed due to the Joint Sea 2021 Russian-Chinese naval exercise’s artillery firings.

The Russian MoD statement said that when USS Chafee did not change course, Admiral Tributs was set on a course ‘for ousting the intruder from Russian territorial waters’.

The US ship was eventually forced to turn back, with the two vessels less than 60m apart.

The US Pacific Fleet Public Affairs has denied this statement and said the Russian claims were false.

US Pacific Fleet in a statement said: “The statement from the Russian Defense Ministry about the interaction between our two navy ships is false.

“While USS Chafee (DDG 90) was conducting routine operations in international water in the Sea of Japan on 15 October 2021, a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer came within approximately 65 yards of USS Chafee (DDG 90) while the ship was preparing for flight operations.

“The interaction was safe and professional. Although Russia issued a Notice to Airman and Mariners (NOTAM/NOTMAR) in this area for later in the day, the NOTAM/NOTMAR was not in effect at the time of the interaction.

“At all times, USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows.”

In June this year, Russia accused UK Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender of entering its territorial waters near Crimea after the ship sailed 3km inside Russian territory off Cape Fiolent.

The UK Defence Ministry refuted the statement saying that HMS Defender carried out a routine transit from Odesa towards Georgia across the Black Sea and ‘no warning shots have been fired at HMS Defender’.

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