ISSN 2330-717X

Pentagon Denies Moscow’s Claim That US Submarine Entered Russian Waters Near Kurile Islands

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(RFE/RL) — The Pentagon says there is “no truth” to a claim by the Russian Defense Ministry that an American nuclear-powered submarine entered Russian territorial waters near the Kurile Islands.

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The United States did not carry out operations in Russian territorial waters, U.S. military spokesman Captain Kyle Raines said in a statement quoted by Reuters.

“There is no truth to the Russian claims of our operations in their territorial waters,” Raines said. “I will not comment on the precise location of our submarines, but we do fly, sail, and operate safely in international waters.”

The statement came after Russia said it had chased away a U.S. submarine that did not respond to requests for it to surface.

The submarine was spotted during Russian naval exercises and it was ordered to surface immediately, Interfax quoted the Defense Ministry as saying.

A Russian ship, the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov of the Pacific Fleet, used “appropriate means” against the submarine after which it left Russia’s territorial waters, according to the official report.

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Russia accused Washington of breaking international law and creating a national security threat. It summoned the U.S. military attache, who was handed a note saying that similar situations in the future were unacceptable.

The incident came at a time of high tensions between Moscow and Washington over a Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

Russia’s defense minister spoke by phone with his U.S. counterpart as the United States and other Western nations warned that war in Ukraine could soon ignite.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russia’s Vladimir Putin spoke for an hour by phone later in the day. French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke with Putin by phone.

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RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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