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On Friday a Russian warship blocked a US Navy destroyer from what it said was an attempt to enter its territorial waters in the Sea of Japan. The two ships came within 66 yards of each other, according to the Russian defence ministry. According to Russia’s defence ministry, the Russian naval vessel the Admiral Tributs closely approached the US destroyer, USS Chafee.
It has been reported that the US vessel was given multiple warnings to leave the area.
The US warship then changed course and left after making “an attempt to cross the Russian sea border”.
Russia and China had been conducting joint naval drills in the Peter the Great Gulf, off the city of Vladivostok.
The Russian ministry said the sea area was designated as off-limits to all other foreign vessels.
The latest crackdown reveals Moscow’s increased efforts to stop the US from deploying ships on missions near its territorial waters.
The Russian ministry declared the US warship’s reported encroachment as a “crude violation”.
The US Pacific Fleet Command released a statement that said: “The statement from the Russian Defense Ministry about the interaction between our two Navy ships is false,”
The US said Russia had put out a warning to mariners about its naval exercise in the area.
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However, the US said the notice was for later in the day and “not in effect at the time of the interaction”.
The US statement added: “At all times, USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom.”
This is not an isolated incident as in November 2020 the US destroyer USS John S McCain allegedly violated the Russian border in the Sea of Japan.
In June, Russia said one of its warships fired warning shots in the path of a British destroyer.
The shots were fired in an attempt to make the British vessel change course from entering Russian Black Sea waters.
A Russian warplane also dropped bombs in the path of the British destroyer.
The incident happened near the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
However, the UK has denied that it was fired upon and said it was sailing in Ukrainian waters.
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