Russia claims it prevented a U.S. Navy destroyer from entering its waters in the Sea of Japan on Friday.
“The large anti-submarine ship of the Pacific Fleet Admiral Tributs did not allow the US Navy destroyer to violate the national border of Russia,” the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement regarding the incident.
The ministry said U.S. Navy destroyer Chafee approached Russia’s waters with anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs warning the U.S. destroyer against the actions.
The statement also claims the destroyer was in an area that was closed due to naval exercises Russia and China were conducting from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17.
“After receiving a warning, the USS Chafee, instead of changing its course to leave the closed area, raised color flags indicating preparation for takeoff from the helicopter deck, which means that it was impossible to change course and speed, and took action to violate the national border of the Russian Federation in Peter the Great Bay,” the statement says.
The Russian ship went toward the U.S. destroyer to prevent it from going further with the U.S. ship turning around when there were less than 60 meters between the two ships.
“The actions of the crew of the US Navy destroyer Chafee are a flagrant violation of the International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea and the Russian-American intergovernmental agreement on the prevention of incidents on the high seas and in the airspace above it in 1972,” Russian claims.
The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement the U.S. destroyer’s actions were “safe and professional."
“At all times, USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom,” the U.S. statement said. "The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows.”
The Russian ship did come within 65 yards of the U.S. destroyer as it was preparing flight operations, the U.S. statement said.
The U.S. said Russia’s warning to avoid the area due to naval exercises was not in effect until later in the day.
Updated at 10:49 p.m.