Russia caught US warship in its waters, chased it off: Defence ministry

The Russian Navy said it had chased off the USS John S. McCain (pictured) after it entered Russian territorial waters. PHOTO: US NAVY

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - A Russian warship caught the United States Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain operating illegally in Russia's territorial waters in the Sea of Japan, but chased it off, Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday (Nov 24).

Moscow said that the Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, had verbally warned the US ship and threatened to ram it in order to force it to leave the area.

The US ship immediately returned to neutral waters after being warned off, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Such incidents are rare, but underscore poor diplomatic and military relations between Russia and the United States whose ties are languishing at a post-Cold War low.

The Russian ship, from the Pacific Fleet, had been tracking the American destroyer, which Moscow said had violated Russia's territorial waters at 0317 GMT by going 2km beyond the sea border.

The incident took place in the Peter the Great Gulf, it said.

The US destroyer made no further attempts to enter Russian waters after leaving the area, said Moscow. But it said the Admiral Vinogradov was continuing to observe its movements and that another vessel, a corvette, had been dispatched to the area.

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