The US Navy claims that the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry “was intentionally trying to interfere with Harry S. Truman operations,” while sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean sea on June 17.
Initially, the Yaroslav Mudry indicated to US ships operating in the area that it’s ability to manoeuvre had become restricted, but continued to move towards the USS Gravely, a guided missile destroyer accompanying the USS Harry S. Truman which is carrying out airstrikes against ISIS in the area, the US Naval Institute reports.
On Tuesday, Russia’s state-run RT media outlet released a video and statement claiming that the Gravely had neglected international rules of navigation and approached the Yaroslav Mudry, but their own video seems to show the Yaroslav Mudry steering towards the Gravely.
The video shows the ships coming within 315 yards of each other.
US Naval officials said that the Gravely stayed between the Yaroslav Mudry and the Truman throughout the incident.
“We have deep concerns about the unsafe and unprofessional Russian ship maneuvers. These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident which results in serious injury or death,” an US Navy official told the US Naval Institute.
“The manoeuvring demonstrates that Yaroslav Mudry was not in fact restricted in her ability to manoeuvre, and was thus intentionally displaying a false international signal,” said one official to Fox News.
This incident is only the latest in a string of confrontations between Russian and US forces at sea. In April, Russian Su-24 war planes simulated an attack on the USS Donald Cook while in the Baltic Sea.
At the time, US Secretary of State John Kerry remarked that the incident was a close call, and “could have been a shoot-down.”
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