The Russian defense Ministry and the Pentagon continue to sort things out regarding a potentially very dangerous incident in the Mediterranean sea. The Russian warship was close to the carrier battle group the U.S. Navy, and now both sides accuse each other of violating the rules of navigation. Who is really to blame for what happened?
The Ministry of defense of Russia and the United States made the accusations in connection with the incident in the Mediterranean sea. We are talking about dangerous rapprochement of the USS Gravely (“Gravely”) with the Russian patrol ship “Yaroslav the Wise”. The Americans claim that the incident was an aircraft carrier of naval forces of the United States. He is a Russian ship allegedly tried to prevent.
“There is such a thing as a Maritime culture, which requires a vehicle larger displacement to behave more gently towards the smaller ship sizes. The Americans have ignored”
The incident occurred on June 17 in the Eastern part of the Mediterranean sea, and the Ministry of defence about it already reported. The participants of the incident was the latest Russian ship – the patrol ship “Yaroslav the Wise”, which was close to the 8-th shock connection of the American naval forces. The core of this connection is the aircraft carrier “Harry Truman” – one of two (along with the “Dwight D. Eisenhower”) of US aircraft carriers, which are attack targets in Syria. One of the escort ships of the connection (along with the destroyers “Bulkeley”, “Gonzalez” and the missile cruiser “Anzio”) is “Gravely”.
According to the version presented by the Ministry of defense of Russia, “Gravely” friends with the “Yaroslav the Wise” at a distance of 60-70 meters on the left side and crossed the course of its movement on the nose at a dangerous distance of 180 meters. That is, there was a threat of a collision between two vessels. Given that an American destroyer in its displacement (it is 9.5 thousand tons) more than two times superior to the Russian patrol, the outcome of this collision could be fatal for “Yaroslav the Wise”.
“The Russian warship followed in international waters a constant course and speed and any dangerous manoeuvre against the American ship was not carried out”, – quotes the Ministry of defence “Interfax”. The Agency emphasizes that the USS Gravely” violating the international rules for preventing collisions, as well as the bilateral agreement of 1972 On the prevention of incidents at sea and airspace above it”. Thus, rule 15 States that on crossing courses where there is a danger of collision, the vessel which has the other on its starboard side must give way”. Therefore, to give had a us destroyer.
In confirmation of the Russian version of TV channel Sputnik has posted a video made on Board the “Yaroslav the Wise”, which captures the moment of how an American destroyer was “cut” by a Russian patrol who were just on his starboard side.
The Pentagon, meanwhile, has advanced a different version of the incident. There contend, according to Defence news, which demonstrated the record does not reflect the entire incident, but only part of it. According to the representative of the European command of the U.S. Navy, Danny Hernandez, “Yaroslav the Wise” has filed a false flag is the international signal indicating that a Russian ship restricted in ability to maneuver, and on the radio asked “Gravely” keep your distance.
That is, in accordance with rule 15 of the International regulations for preventing collisions (COLREG) American, again, had to give way to the Russian ship. But when an American destroyer changed course and speed, “Yaroslav the Wise” did the same thing, thus demonstrating that it is not limited in the ability to maneuver, and just wants to beat the American. In this case, “Gravely” was between the Russian patrol boat and the aircraft carrier “Harry Truman”. That is, at least, the version of the Pentagon.
The actions of the Russian patrol ship, the Americans assessed as “unsafe and unprofessional”. “Such actions can lead to unnecessary tensions in relations between the two countries”, – said a source in the us defense Department.
The Russian defense Ministry categorically denies this allegation of the Pentagon. “All statements about trying to ship “Yaroslav the Wise” to interfere with the operation of an aircraft carrier “Harry Truman” are unprofessional. The Russian patrol was at a distance of more than five nautical miles and their actions in no way could affect the maneuvers of the American aircraft carrier,” reports RIA “Novosti” with reference to the statement of the Ministry of defense of Russia. It also refers to rule 15 of the COLREGs.
The President of Academy of geopolitical problems, captain first rank Konstantin Sivkov in an interview with the newspaper OPINION noted that such incidents are not uncommon. “The standard measure of displacement is to create a danger of collision. So are Americans, so are ours,” – he said. Sivkov recalled the events of 12 February 1988 in the Black sea, when a Soviet patrol “Selfless” and “SKR-6” met with American missile cruiser “Yorktown” and the destroyer “Caron”. Then the Soviet ships went on a collision course, trying to oust the Americans from Soviet territorial waters.
Former chief of naval staff Admiral Viktor Kravchenko believes that “Gravely” was following the tactics of escort ships aircraft carrier groups – tried to ward off Russian patrol from the carrier. “There is such a thing as a Maritime culture, which requires a vehicle larger displacement to behave more gently towards the smaller ship sizes. The Americans ignored”, – quotes its words of RIA “news”. However, in this case, it is not clear what is meant by a Maritime culture: the rules, the COLREGs clearly written that just ship less tonnage must give way to the larger ship. That is the rule to give had Russian patrol.
However, perhaps the Admiral says about some of the historical Maritime traditions – “little do not hurt, do not create problems for vessels in a collision will certainly suffer more.
Kravchenko notes the imperfection of the existing legal framework to prevent similar cases. In the same Russian-American agreement On prevention of incidents at sea and airspace above it” are not spelled out the parameters by which you can determine dangerous or not dangerous the closer the ships.
Meanwhile, the consequence of the incident in the Mediterranean sea could be addressing this gap. In any case, Russia’s envoy to NATO Alexander Grushko said that Moscow is ready for dialogue with Washington to prevent such incidents.
“The Russian side made a number of additional proposals and suggestions for improvement of the mechanism for the prevention of dangerous military activities in the framework of the meeting to review the implementation of the agreement of the Russian Federation – United States of 1972. Therefore, we believe that if the political will existed, it is possible to join in the conversation on this issue based on the experience that accumulates today in Syria the United States and Russia”, – quotes its words “Interfax”.
It is worth adding that cases of dangerous approaching of the armed forces of NATO countries and Russia in recent years has become much more than before. Most often it was the actions of aviation.
For example, in April of this year in the Baltic sea by a Russian su-27 fighter was intercepted by a reconnaissance plane of the U.S. air force RC-135. In the same month there was an incident with a flight of Russian su-24 near the us destroyer Donald Cook (Donald cook).