Tensions are brewing between the U.S. and Russia.
Just days after the U.S. Navy accused Russia of intercepting a U.S. aircraft, both navies are at odds over a near-collision in the Pacific Ocean with each blaming the other earlier today.
Reportedly, the U.S. and Russian warships came between 50 feet and 165 feet of one another, according to the opposing reports.
Both sides are alleging their ship was forced to perform emergency maneuvers to avoid collision.
“A Russian destroyer …. made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,” US Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clayton Doss told CNN. “This unsafe action forced 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.”
However, that account was contradicted by Russia’s Pacific Fleet, which claims it was the U.S. ship that instigated the event.
“When moving (on) parallel courses of a detachment of ships of the Pacific Fleet and a carrier group of the US Navy, the cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed its direction and crossed within 50 meters of the Admiral Vinogradov,” forcing the Russian destroyer to take emergency evasive action, Russia’s state-run RIA-Novosti report said, as quoted by CNN.
Russia Intercepted a U.S. Aircraft Earlier this Week
Earlier this week, the U.S. accused Russia of intercepting a U.S. aircraft flying in international space over the Mediterranean Sea three times in less than three hours.
In one of the three interceptions, Russia’s actions were “determined to be unsafe” after the U.S. Navy’s 6thFleet said a Russian SU-35 fighter plane flew in front of a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon in the eastern Mediterranean.
However, Russia’s military has said it did nothing wrong.
“All flights of Russian aircraft were carried out in accordance with the international rules for the use of airspace,” the Russian Ministry of Defense told reporters Wednesday. “There were no questions or complaints from the American center of flight deconfliction line in Syria to the Russian command,” as also quoted by CNN.
That incident also comes just weeks after another brush off the coast of Alaska.
In May 2019, U.S. F-22 stealth jets intercepted four Russian bombers and two SU-35 fighter jets in international space. However, Russian bombers and jets have flown in that area a few times a year for the last few years, and have often been intercepted by the U.S. or Canadian jets operating as part of NORAD – whose top priority is to defend the U.S. and Canada.
It’ll be interesting to see what may happen next.
All we know now is that all incidents come as Russia hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping and a delegation in St. Petersburg. Leaders of the two countries, both at odds with the U.S., have praised one another with Xi calling Vladimir Putin his “best and bosom” friend.