In what is supposedly the first standoff between Russian and U.S. Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. destroyer Gravely came dangerously close to the Russian Navy ship Yaroslav Mudry in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, news agency RT reported the Russian ministry of defense saying.
U.S. Navy officials, on the other hand, say the Russian frigate tried to interfere with the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman which was conducting airstrikes against the ISIL.
As the Russian side reported, the U.S. destroyer cut off the Russian ship’s course by sailing as close as 55 meters to the Russian frigate.
“US sailors, in particular, neglected Rule 13, which stipulates that an overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken,” the news agency quoted the Defense Ministry statement.
However, USNI News reported U.S. Navy officials saying the frigate was intentionally trying to interfere with Harry S. Truman operations.
“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 official was quoted as saying by the news site.
This is not the first time the two countries stood against each other in international waters. In April 2016, Russian jets recently flew within meters of a U.S. warship in the Baltic Sea. The incident was caught on video by sailors aboard USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke -class destroyer who was, at the time, sailing in international waters of the Baltic Sea.
More recently, Russia warned the U.S. to stay out of the Black Sea as the presence of U.S. warships undermined regional stability. The U.S. Navy brushed this warning aside saying it would continue ‘providing deterrence’.