The US Navy has denied claims that one of its destroyers was caught and chased off by Russia while operating in the European country's territorial waters.
The Admiral Vinogradov, a Russian destroyer, was said to have verbally warned the USS John S. McCain before threatening to ram the vessel, prompting its return to neutral waters.
Moscow said it had been tracking the ship in the Peter the Great Gulf, and that the American destroyer had violated the boundaries of Russia’s territorial waters in the region by more than two kilometres.
However, the US Navy said its warship was well within its rights, instead claiming the ship had been in international waters throughout as it carried out a "freedom of navigation" operation to assert its rights.
"The United States will never bow in intimidation or be coerced into accepting illegitimate maritime claims, such as those made by the Russian Federation," a US 7th Fleet spokesperson said.
"The Russian Federation’s statement about this mission is false.
"USS John S. McCain was not 'expelled' from any nation’s territory."
Cover image: USS John McCain (Picture: US Department of Defense).