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Acting defense chief Patrick Shanahan blames Russia's 'unsafe and unprofessional' behavior after near-collision with US warship

Key Points
  • Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday blamed Russia for the near-collision between U.S. and Russian warships hours before and indicated the militaries of the two countries will discuss the matter.
  • "There was obviously a safety issue there. That behavior was unsafe and unprofessional. We'll have military-to-military conversations with the Russians," Shanahan told reporters outside the Pentagon.
Patrick Shanahan, acting U.S. Secretary of Defense, in Washington, D.C., on May 21, 2019.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Friday blamed Russia for the near-collision between U.S. and Russian warships hours before and indicated the militaries of the two countries will discuss the matter.

"There was obviously a safety issue there. That behavior was unsafe and unprofessional. We'll have military-to-military conversations with the Russians," Shanahan told reporters outside the Pentagon.

He said the incident "will not deter us in our operations."

In this U.S. Navy released handout, a Russian Destroyer (UDALOY I DD 572) (L) sails parallel in close proximity with the USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) at approximately 11:45 am on June 7, 2019 while operating in the Philippine Sea. Both sides are placing blame on each other over the incident where a Russian destroyer came within 100 feet of an American-guided missile cruiser. (Photo by Christopher J Krucke/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
U.S. Navy | Getty Images

Shanahan's comments follow what the U.S. has characterized as a Russian destroyer's unsafe maneuver against U.S. Navy cruiser USS Chancellorsville in the Philippine Sea. The destroyer got within 100 feet of the U.S. warship, according to the Navy.

Russian state media has placed the blame for the incident on the "sudden change of direction" of the Chancellorsville.