US Navy destroyer USS Chafee was at the receiving end of the Russian Anti Submarine ship Admiral Tributs after it tried to cross the Russian state border in Peter the Great Bay. In November 2020, Russian Navy Udaloy-class destroyer Admiral Vinogradov had stopped the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) from entering Peter the Great Bay in a similar manner.
The United States is not a party to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The Americans believe, according to international rules, Russia has only 13-mile territorial waters. So they supposedly can go deeper towards Vladivostok.
However, Russians say that since the time of Nicholas II, the boundaries of Russia’s territorial waters have run between the top point and almost to the border with Korea, and it is more than 100 km.
The Russian Defense Ministry has summoned the US military attaché in connection with the incident. “The representative of the US Armed Forces was informed of the position of the Russian military department in connection with an attempt by the US Navy destroyer Chafee to violate the state border of the Russian Federation in the Peter the Great Gulf on October 15,” the statement said.
The ministry added that the United States military attaché was pointed out to the unprofessional actions of the crew of the US Navy destroyer Chafee, who grossly violated the International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREG-72) and the provisions of the Russian-American intergovernmental agreement on the prevention of incidents on the high seas and in the airspace over it in 1972.
As per the Russians, the American ship approached the territorial waters of the Russian Federation on October 15 at about 17:00 local time (10:00 Moscow time). The US Navy destroyer Chafee has been in the Sea of Japan for several days before attempting the crossing.
“Admiral Tributs” on the international channel warned Chafee (DDG 90) about the inadmissibility of such actions. In addition, the destroyer was located in an area closed to navigation, where artillery firing took place as part of the joint Russian-Chinese exercise “Sea Interaction – 2021”, the Russian Ministry of Defense said.
Despite the warning, the US Navy ship raised flags of colour, indicating preparation for takeoff from the helicopter deck and the impossibility of changing course and speed, after which it tried to violate the state border of the Russian Federation.
“Acting within the framework of the international rules of navigation, the BOD ( large anti-submarine ship) Admiral Tributs took a course to drive the intruder out of the Russian territorial waters. The destroyer USS Chafee, convinced of the determination of the Russian ship’s crew not to violate the state border, changed direction and at 17:50 turned back on the opposite course when there were less than 60 m left to the Admiral Tributs BOD, “the ministry said in a statement.