A disaster was averted luckily enough in the East China Sea on Friday. A US warship and a Russian warship came so closer that they almost collided with one another. The Russian warships came as close as 50 meters or 165 feet to the US warship and had to opt for an emergency manoeuvring to steer clear of hitting the US warship.
While the collision was averted, the US and Russian Navies are at odds with each other and have been blaming each other. The near-accident situation came on the heels of the recent geopolitical issues between the two superpowers. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had recently met the Russian premier Vladimir Putin and warned Russia against interfering in US elections. To put it in the words of US Navy spokesman Cmdr. Clayton Doss,
“A Russian destroyer …. made an unsafe maneuver against USS Chancellorsville, closing to 50-100 feet, putting the safety of her crew and ship at risk,”
However, Russian authorities have contradicted the version put forth by the US administration. The RIA-Novosti news agency has claimed that it was the US ship that was responsible for the incident. Russia considers the US version as mere propaganda.
So, there are two warships and two narratives – but it remains a fact that a chance of an accident has been averted and if not taken care of, there would have a potentially dangerous injury on either side. It seems to be quite unrealistic and strange for the two ships of this magnitude to come so close to one another. It may be possible that both are responsible or any of them may be responsible. In any case, it would be important to remember that these incidents have been quite common in the Black Sea region.