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US Navy calls Russian military’s actions in East China Sea ‘unprofessional’

According to the US statement, the incident occurred in the Philippine Sea
 Admiral Vinogradov destroyer Yuri Smityuk/TASS
Admiral Vinogradov destroyer
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. The United States Navy’s 7th Fleet has described the steps of the Russian military in the East China Sea as unprofessional, stressing that the dangerous maneuver put the US crew’s safety at risk.

According to the statement, the incident occurred in the Philippine Sea. "While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer (UDALOY I DD 572) [Project 1155] made an unsafe maneuver against guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), closing to approximately 50-100 feet putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk."

The US Navy claims that while USS Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed, the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of approximately 50-100 feet. "This unsafe action forced USS Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision."

"We consider Russia's actions during this interaction as unsafe and unprofessional and not in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), "Rules of the Road," and internationally recognized maritime customs," the statement said.

Earlier, the Russian Pacific Fleet’s press service reported that the incident occurred at 6.35 a.m. Moscow Time in the southeastern part of the East China Sea, when a task force of the Russian Pacific Fleet and a US carrier strike group were heading in parallel directions. "The US cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed its course and crossed the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer’s course some 50 meters away from the ship. In order to prevent a collision, the Admiral Vinogradov’s crew was forced to conduct an emergency maneuver," the press service said.

The Pacific Fleet voiced a protest to the US vessel’s command, stressing that such steps are unacceptable.

Large anti-submarine ships of Project 1155 are designed to fight adversary nuclear submarines in the ocean zone, ensure the operation of Russian submarines and protect surface warships. The Admiral Vinogradov destroyer and the Chancellorsville cruiser have a full displacement of 7,500 tonnes and 9,800 tonnes, respectively.