Russia denies its ship ′aggressively approached′ US destroyer | News | DW | 10.01.2020
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Russia denies its ship 'aggressively approached' US destroyer

A video posted by the US Fifth Fleet allegedly shows a Russian warship "aggressively" approaching a US destroyer in the Arabian Sea. Moscow denied the claims and accused the US sailors of being unprofessional.

USS Farragut (picture-alliance/AP Photo/U.S. 5th Fleet )

Russian reconnaissance vessel 'Ivan Hurs' pictured from the US destroyer Farragut

A Russian ship and a US Navy vessel crossed paths in the Arabian Sea, with both sides accusing the other of being reckless and risking a collision.

The US Fifth Fleet said its destroyer USS Farragut was "aggressively approached by a Russian Navy ship" while the destroyer was conducting routine operations in the region.

The US ship sounded five siren blasts to indicate danger of a collision, they said on Twitter on Friday, also releasing two sets of video footage. The Russian ship "initially refused but ultimately altered course," according to the US Navy fleet.

In response, the Russian defense ministry said the US destroyer "blatantly violated international collision prevention rules" by cutting across the course taken by their reconnaissance vessel.

"The unprofessional actions of the crew of the American destroyer amount to conscious violation of international norms," they said.

The Russian officials cited a navigation rule that states that a vessel on the right side has the right of way when two powered ships are moving in the same direction.

"The crew of the Russian military ship acted professionally by taking the maneuver which averted the collision with the violating ship," they added.

Moscow said that the video published by the US Navy confirms the Russian account.

The latest incident comes seven months after a different pair of warships has a dangerously close encounter in the Philippine Sea. Days before the Philippine Sea incident, a Russian jet intercepted a US spy plane off Syria. In 2016 and 2017, Russian fighter jets repeatedly "buzzed" US Navy vessels by flying dangerously close to them.

dj/msh (AP, Interfax, AFP, Reuters)

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