Go to home page

Russian Navy Stops U.S. Ship Entering Russian Waters on Sea of Japan

Oct. 16, 2021 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, the Russian Defense Ministry charged that a U.S. Navy destroyer attempted to violate Russian territorial waters at the entrance to the Peter the Great Bay outside of Russia’s Pacific port city of Vladivostok. “Today, at about 5:00 p.m. local time, the U.S. Navy’s destroyer Chafee (DDG-90), which has been operating in the Sea of Japan for several days, approached the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and attempted to cross the state border,” the ministry said in a statement.

The Admiral Tributs warned the foreign warship of the inadmissibility of such actions and that it was operating in an area closed for shipping due to artillery firings as part of the Russia-China Joint Sea 2021 naval maneuvers, the ministry specified, reported TASS.

“After getting the warning, instead of changing its course to leave the closed area, the destroyer Chafee raised its colors implying that its helicopter was due to take off from its deck, which meant that the course and the speed could not be changed, and took actions to violate the state border of the Russian Federation in the Peter the Great Bay,” the statement says. The Chafee changed course to steer away from the Russian ship after about an hour and when they came within about 60 meters of each other. The Russian statement called the actions of the crew of a U.S. ship “a gross violation [rendered as “crude violation” in U.S. press reports] of the international regulations for preventing collisions at sea and the 1972 Russia-U.S. intergovernmental agreement on preventing incidents at sea and in the airspace.”

The Russian Defense Ministry later summoned the U.S. defense attaché in Moscow to lodge a complaint about the incident. “The position of the Russian military agency was conveyed to the representative of the U.S. armed forces in relation to the U.S. Navy’s destroyer Chafee’s attempted violation of the state border of the Russian Federation in the area of the Peter the Great Bay on October 15,” the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. Navy, in response, issued a statement saying that the Chafee was conducting “routine operations” and preparing for flight operations when the Russian ship approached but called the interaction “safe and professional.” The statement also said that while the Russians had issued notification of the Russian-Chinese naval exercise in the area, the notification had not yet taken effect at the time of the encounter. “The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows,” it concluded.

This latest incident follows by four months the provocation by the Royal Navy in the Black Sea when the destroyer HMS Defender entered waters claimed by Russia near Crimea as well as a November 2020 incident when the U.S. Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the Peter the Great Bay in protest of “excessive maritime claims” allegedly made by Russia in those waters.

Back to top    Go to home page clear