The US Navy says there is ‘no truth’ to the allegation that its submarine entered Russian territorial waters, but it will not comment on its whereabouts
The US Navy has denied claims that one of its nuclear-powered submarines violated Russian territorial waters amid growing geopolitical tensions between the countries. “There is no truth in Russian claims of our operations in their territorial waters,” US Navy Captain Kyle Raines said in a statement quoted by Reuters on Saturday.
However, when issuing the denial on Saturday, the spokesman for the US Indo-Pacific Command declined to say where the US submarines were operating. “I will not comment on the precise location of our submarines, but we fly, sail and operate safely in international waters,” said Raines.
The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier on Saturday that a US Virginia-class nuclear-powered attack submarine was found submerged in waters off the Kuril Islands as Moscow’s Pacific Fleet conducted exercises In the region. Russian ships ordered the submarine’s crew to surface immediately, but they ignored those messages, the Russian military said. The destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov was deployed to chase the submarine, which used an active radar decoy and sped away from the area, according to the ministry.
The Russian ministry called the incident a major violation of international law that created a threat to Russia’s national security. Shortly after the alleged encounter, Russian officials summoned a US military attaché to explain the incident.
The Virginia-class submarines are armed with cruise and anti-ship missiles, as well as Mark 48 torpedoes. The US Navy touts them as employing the latest “Stealth, intelligence gathering and weapon systems technology.” Costing around $3.5 billion each to build, the ships are frequently used for surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.
The alleged incursion took place the same day that Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden spoke by phone about escalating tensions in Ukraine. The Biden administration has warned for weeks of a potentially imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine, while Moscow has said it does not plan to launch an attack.
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