Russian warship avoids colliding with US cruiser by just 30 metres

Both navies accused each other of ‘dangerous and unprofessional behaviour’

Chiara Giordano
Friday 07 June 2019 14:46 BST
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Russian destroyer misses colliding with US cruiser by just 30 metres

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The Russian and US navies have accused each other of “dangerous and unprofessional behaviour” after their warships almost collided in the East China Sea.

Russia’s Pacific Fleet claimed that its destroyer Admiral Vinogradov had to take emergency action to avoid crashing after USS Chancellorsville came within just 30 metres of the vessel.

“The US guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville suddenly changed course and cut across the path of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov coming within 50 metres of the ship,” it said in a statement.

“A protest over the international radio frequency was made to the commanders of the American ship who were warned about the unacceptable nature of such actions.”

However, that version of events was rejected by the US Navy, which claimed the Russian ship had been “unsafe and unprofessional”.

Commander Clayton Doss, spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said: “While operating in the Philippine Sea, a Russian Destroyer...made an unsafe manoeuvre against USS Chancellorsville.

“This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to manoeuvre to avoid collision.”

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He described a Russian assertion that the US ship had acted dangerously as “propaganda”.

The Russian destroyer came within 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 metres) of the Chancellorsville, he said, putting the safety of her crew and the ship at risk.

The incident is said to have happened on Friday morning in the eastern part of the East China Sea, at a time when a group of Russian warships was on a parallel course with a US naval strike group.

It also comes days after Washington and Moscow sparred over an allegedly unsafe spy plane intercept by a Russian fighter jet near Syria.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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