Russian warship chases US submarine near Pacific islands, Moscow says


A Russian anti-submarine destroyer chased a US submarine near the Kuril Islands, forcing it out of the country’s territorial waters, Moscow said on Saturday, amid rage. tensions around Ukraine.

A Pentagon spokesman, asked by AFP for comment, simply said: “We are aware of press reports regarding an alleged naval incident in the Pacific. We cannot confirm the details of this information for the moment”.

A senior administration official said Saturday he had no additional information about the alleged incident.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that during scheduled military exercises, the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov detected a US Navy Virginia-class submarine in Russian territorial waters near the Kuril Islands in the northern Pacific.

When the submarine ignored requests to surface, the frigate’s crew “used appropriate means” and the US submarine sped off, the ministry said, without providing further details.

The ministry also said it had summoned the US defense attaché in Moscow over the incident.

“In connection with the violation by the United States Navy submarine of the state border of the Russian Federation, the Defense Attaché of the United States Embassy in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Defense,” the Department of Defense said.

The Kurils, which lie north of the Japanese island of Hokkaido, have been controlled by Moscow since they were seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. The incident happened near the Kuril island of Urup.

It came amid growing tensions between Russia and the West that have seen Moscow encircle Ukraine from three sides with more than 100,000 troops, with Washington warning that an all-out invasion could begin “any day “.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday condemned the allegations as a “provocation”.

US President Joe Biden warned Putin Saturday that the United States would “respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs” if Russia invades Ukraine. The warning comes as US officials say a Russian invasion could begin”at any time.”

With a Russian military escalation on Ukraine’s borders, Mr Biden stressed in a phone call with Putin that an invasion would “produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing”.

The US State Department has order non-emergency personnel to leave the United States Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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