US Military: Claim That American Destroyer Threatened to Violate Russia's Maritime Border 'False'

© Russian Ministry of DefenseThe American destroyer USS Chafee, filmed from 60 meters away by the Russian large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, during an encounter in Peter the Great Gulf on October 15, 2021. The Chafee was threatening to violate Russian territorial waters and being warned away.
The American destroyer USS Chafee, filmed from 60 meters away by the Russian large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, during an encounter in Peter the Great Gulf on October 15, 2021. The Chafee was threatening to violate Russian territorial waters and being warned away. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
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The Pentagon has rejected claims by the Russian Defense Ministry that a US warship was approaching Russian territorial waters on Friday when a Russian warship intercepted it
"The statement from the Russian Defense Ministry about the interaction between our two Navy ships is false," the US military said in a statement on Friday.
"While USS Chafee (DDG 90) was conducting routine operations in international water in the Sea of Japan on Oct. 15, 2021, a Russian Udaloy-class destroyer came within approximately 65 yards of USS Chafee (DDG 90) while the ship was preparing for flight operations. The interaction was safe and professional. Although Russia issued a Notice to Airman and Mariners (NOTAM/NOTMAR) in this area for later in the day, the NOTAM/NOTMAR was not in effect at the time of the interaction. At all times, USS Chafee conducted operations in accordance with international law and custom. The United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate where international law allows," the statement continues.
At 5 pm local time on Friday, the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Chafee was sailing in the Peter the Great Gulf, a waterway connecting the Russian port city of Vladivostok with the Sea of Japan. According to the Russian MoD, the Chafee had been operating in the area for several days, but at that time "approached the territorial waters of the Russian Federation and made an attempt to cross the state border."

"After receiving the warning, instead of changing course to leaved the closed sea area, the Chafee raised signalling flags indicating preparations for takeoff from its helicopter deck, meaning that it would be impossible for the warship to change its course and speed, and took action to violate the state border of the Russian Federation in Peter the Great Bay," the Russian MoD added.

Video footage published by Moscow filmed by crew onboard the intercepting warship, the Udaloy-class large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, shows the Chafee's Seahawk helicopter powering up its engines as the warship plows ahead, the Tributs pacing it just 60 meters off its starboard side.
The US Pacific Fleet also published three photos of the incident from the Chafee, showing the frigate-sized Admiral Tributs steaming nearby and several members of its crew watching the Chafee intently.
© US NavySEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan.
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan.
© US NavySEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo) - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)
© Sean GanoSEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo) - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.10.2021
SEA OF JAPAN (Oct. 15, 2021) A Russian Udaloy-class destroyer interacts with USS Chafee (DDG 90), while Chafee conducts routine operations in international waters in the Sea of Japan. (U.S. Navy photo)
According to the MoD, the NOTAM/NOTMAR, which closed that area of see off to traffic due to the due to the ongoing Russian-Chinese "Maritime Interaction-2021" artillery drills, was still in effect, contrary to what the Pentagon said in its rebuttal. The drills began on October 14 and are set to continue until October 17.
Friday's incident is the second time the US Navy has tried to violate Russian territorial waters in the Peter the Great Gulf in the last year.
On November 25, 2020, the USS John S. McCain sailed 2 kilometers into Russian waters in the waterway as part of what the US Seventh Fleet called upholding “the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging Russia's excessive maritime claims.”
As Sputnik has reported, the US has taken issue with straight baselines drawn by nations around the globe, claiming the straight baselines drawn by the Soviet government in 1984 across Peter the Great Gulf don't meet the standards set by the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). However, the US State Department's justifications for that position are subjective and facile, such as that the coastline is not indented enough. Further, the US has never ratified UNCLOS, undermining the credibility of its posturing as the treaty's enforcer.
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