US warship faces aggressive moves by Russia ship in Mideast

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This photo provided bythe U.S. 5th Fleet, shows a Russian Navy ship approaching an American warship in the North Arabian Sea, on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. A spokesman for U.S. 5th Fleet said Friday that the USS Farragut was conducting routine operations Thursday and sounded five short blasts to warn the Russian ship of a possible collision. He said the USS Farragut asked the Russian ship to change course and the ship initially refused but ultimately moved away. Even though the Russian ship moved away, the Navy spokesman said the delay in shifting course “increased the risk of collision.”  (U.S. 5th Fleet via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An American warship was “aggressively approached” by a Russian Navy ship in the North Arabian Sea, the U.S. Navy said Friday.

Navy Cmdr. Josh Frey, spokesman for U.S. 5th Fleet, said that the USS Farragut was conducting routine operations Thursday and sounded five short blasts to warn the Russian ship of a possible collision. He said the USS Farragut, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, asked the Russian ship to change course and the ship initially refused but ultimately moved away.

Even though the Russian ship moved away, Frey said the delay in shifting course “increased the risk of collision.”

In response, a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry said that the U.S. ship “grossly violated the international rules for preventing collisions of ships at sea, having made a maneuver to cross its course.” The statement said the crew of the Russian warship acted professionally, and moved to prevent a collision with the U.S. ship.

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Associated Press writer James Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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