US officials say they are concerned about Russian intentions
They say the ship was conducting some 'abnormal' maneuvers
For the second time in two weeks, a Russian warship in the eastern Mediterranean has approached U.S. Navy ships in what American military officials said was an unsafe manner, raising concerns about Russian intentions.
The latest incident took place Thursday when the Russian frigate Neustrashimyy came within 150 yards of the USS San Jacinto, according to U.S. military officials.
“San Jacinto was never threatened by the erratic maneuvers, as San Jacinto maintained course and speed, but the closing distance by (the Neustrashimyy) before the ship turned away from San Jacinto is considered a high risk maneuver, highly unprofessional, and contrary to international maritime regulations,” the Navy said in a statement.
“Conducting aggressive, erratic maneuvers and moving unnecessarily close to another ship in open ocean is inconsistent with prudent seamanship,” the statement added. “We are concerned every time an unprofessional ship maneuvers occurs. These actions can unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries, and could result in dangerous miscalculations or accidents.”
The Russian frigate had been engaged in “shadowing” operations of the nearby carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower at the time. The Russian ship “conducted multiple erratic” maneuvers while the Eisenhower was conducting flight operations, the officials said.
The Navy had anticipated the Russian moves because it was the same frigate that had approached the USS Gravely two weeks ago, officials said.
At one point, the U.S. Navy sailors were able to photograph the Russian ship’s weapons “uncovered” but unmanned, officials said.