Russia, US Trade Blame Over Maritime Incident in Mediterranean

US Missile Destroyer Approached Russian Frigate

After months of US officials blasting Russia for “unprofessional” military behavior, the Russian Defense Ministry today reported an incident in the Mediterranean Sea in which a US guided missile destroyer came dangerously close to a Russian frigate.

The destroyer, the USS Gravely, reportedly got within 200 feet of the Russian ship, and then crossed in front of the ship, which Russia says violated international obligations not to risk any collisions in international waters.

US officials, predictably, responded to this with a statement in which they claimed the Russian ship was behaving in an “unsafe and unprofessional” manner, and that it was the Russian ship that had gotten too close to the American one.

The US narrative isn’t necessarily credible, since the US usually issued such condemnations on or around the day they happened, and this incident was 11 days ago, with the US comments only coming immediately following Russia’s complaint.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.