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Russia chases away US warship during joint drills with China

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee steams during, in the Pacific Ocean, on March 31, 2017. (US navy via Reuters)

Russia says its naval forces have chased away a US Navy destroyer that attempted to cross the Russian sea border in the Sea of Japan.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the US destroyer USS Chafee sailed close to the Russian waters in the Peter the Great Gulf on Friday.

The Russian navy’s Admiral Tributs destroyer closely approached the destroyer and chased it out of the area, which had been declared off limits “to navigation due to exercises with artillery fire,” it added.

The US warship had ignored repeated warnings to leave the area, according to the statement, which slammed the us destroyer’s action as a “crude violation” of international rules.

The American destroyer changed course when the two ships were just 60 meters away from each other and sped away, it added.

The Russian ministry also summoned the US military attaché in Moscow to protest the “unprofessional action” of the destroyer’s crew.

The incident follows other dangerously close encounters involving Russian and Western warships.

Russia has frequently accused the US and its NATO allies of dangerous and provocative maneuvers at sea and in the air near its borders. In June, Russia said that it had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in the path of a British warship to chase it out of Black Sea waters off the coast of Crimea. The incident marked the first time since the Cold War that Moscow was using live ammunition to deter a NATO warship.

Relations between Russian and the West have grown increasingly tense over the past few years.

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