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US and Russia blame each other over near-collision of warships

Guided missile cruiser the USS Chancellorsville and Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov came within 165ft of each other in the East China Sea.

USS Chancellorsville (AP)
USS Chancellorsville (AP)

The US and Russian militaries have accused each other of unsafe actions after an American guided-missile cruiser and a Russian destroyer came within 165ft of each other in the East China Sea.

The US 7th Fleet said the Russian destroyer put the safety of the USS Chancellorsville and its crew at risk, forcing it to reverse all engines at full throttle to avoid a collision.

It said a helicopter was preparing to land on the Chancellorsville, which was travelling on a steady course, when the Russian destroyer, travelling behind the US ship, sped up.

Clay Doss, spokesman for the Japan-based 7th Fleet, said no one was injured and he was not aware of any damage to the ship.

“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 recognised maritime customs,” the 7th Fleet said in a statement.

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The Russian destroyer seen from the USS Chancellorsville (Christopher J Krucke/AP)

The Russian military accused the Chancellorsville of making a dangerous manoeuvre by crossing the path of the Russian destroyer Admiral Vinogradov.

It said in a statement that the US cruiser “suddenly changed direction and crossed the path of Admiral Vinogradov,” forcing the crew of the Russian ship to make a quick manoeuvre to avoid collision.

The Russian military said its navy sent a radio message in protest.

PA

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