Anyone that grew up with a sibling knows this phrase: "If you two keep this up, I'm going to separate you." Someone should probably do that with Russia and the United States. The two sides are blaming each other over yet another close encounter, this time on the waves of the Mediterranean Sea.
According to Reuters, the close encounter was between the guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely (shown above) and the Russian frigate Yaroslav Mudry. The Russians claim the Mundry was cruising steadily in international waters when the Gravely passed within 65 to 75 yards and cut across frigate's bow. Sounds like a pretty aggressive move, but US officials claim it didn't go down like that.
A Pentagon official spoke on condition of anonymity with Reuters and said the Russian ship "repeatedly crossed the stern of USS Gravely at close proximity" all the while telling the American ship to "maintain a safe distance." According to the unnamed source, the Mundry came within 315 yards of the Gravely, and more worryingly, was just five nautical miles away from the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.
"These actions have the potential to unnecessarily escalate tensions between countries and could result in a miscalculation or accident that results in serious injury or death," the source told Reuters.
This incident is the latest in an increasingly common theme anywhere US and Russian forces congregate, but it's the first time we've heard of US forces acting as the provocateur. In the past, Russian fighter-bombers have streaked over US ships and pushed dangerously close to other countries' sovereign airspace.