Russia and the United States have different accounts of what happened last Tuesday when their two navies faced off in the Mediterranean Sea on June 17. As with all matters involving military confrontations between the two, US and Russia blamed each other saying one is wrong while the other correct. Which is which and will this lead to war?
According to the account of the Russian Defense Ministry, the destroyer from the United States approached its warship dangerously. Likewise, the organization has also condemned what happened saying that the United States clearly violated rules to avoid sea collisions.
A U.S. Defense official, on other hand, argued that the Russian warship was the one that conducted “unsafe and unprofessional” operations near two U.S. Navy ships. The official spoke about the details of the incident on the condition of anonymity, according to Reuters.
The encounter, trade of accusations and tensions are reminiscent of the Cold War era where both countries were at odds against each other. Russia maintained that when the incident happened, the ship was in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean. However, a U.S. Defense official claimed that the Russian frigate had “repeatedly crossed the stern of USS Gravely at close proximity” and had “repeatedly asked gravely to maintain a safe distance, yet continued to maneuver in close proximity to Gravely.”
US Repeatedly Accusing Russia
“But this incident shows that US (sailors) allow themselves to forget basic rules of maritime safety.”
With the current political issues at hand, it may be too far to expect any reconciliation between the two parties.
“These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in a miscalculation or accident which results in serious injury or death,” one US defense official claimed.