Russia, U.S. trade charges after near naval collision

Agence France-Presse
Russia, U.S. trade charges after near naval collision

AFP

The Russian ship had to carry out an emergency maneuver to avoid collision, the navy says, adding that it has sent a message of protest to the US cruiser's commanders

MOSCOW, Russia – Russia and the United States on Friday, June 7, accused each other of dangerous maneuvers after their naval ships came close to collision in the East China Sea.

On Friday morning, Russia’s Pacific Fleet said that the USS Chancellorsville guided-missile cruiser suddenly cut across the course of its Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine ship, passing in front of it at a distance of just 50 meters (164 feet).

The Russian ship had to carry out an emergency maneuver to avoid collision, the navy said, adding that it had sent a message of protest to the US cruiser’s commanders.

Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, Russia’s former navy chief of staff, accused the US of “hooliganism” in comments to Interfax news agency.

In a later statement, the US seventh fleet attributed the incident to an “unsafe” maneuver by the Russian ship, which it said had accelerated from behind to sail within 50 to 100 feet of the Chancellorsville, “putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk.”

“We consider Russia’s actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional,” the US navy said.

Russia and the US regularly accuse each other of carrying out dangerous naval or aerial maneuvers.

In June 2016, Moscow and Washington traded accusations after their naval ships sailed closely past each other in the eastern Mediterranean.

A month later, the US accused Russia of “aggressive” and “erratic” moves by one of its warships in the same waters.

The two countries also regularly complain over each other’s military planes flying too close to their airspace.

In May, US fighters intercepted 6 Russian military aircraft in international airspace west of Alaska, and shadowed them until they exited the area. – Rappler.com

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