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MOSCOW: A Russian naval vessel chased away a US submarine in Russian waters in the Pacific after the submarine ignored a Russian order to surface, Interfax news agency cited the defence ministry as saying on Saturday.

The Russian ministry called in the US defence attache after complaining that the submarine had entered its waters, the RIA news agency reported. Tensions between Moscow and Washington are already high over a Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

The submarine was spotted near the Kuril islands early on Saturday as Russia was conducting naval exercises with its Pacific Fleet and it was ordered to surface immediately, the Russian ministry was quoted as saying.

It said the order was ignored by the US submarine’s crew, leading the crew of Russia’s Marshal Shaposhnikov frigate to use unspecified “corresponding means” to make the vessel leave.

“The US submarine … left Russian territorial waters at maximum speed,” the defence ministry was quoted as saying.

There was no immediate comment from the United States.

Russia’s defence minister spoke by phone with his US counterpart on Saturday as the United States and other Western nations warned that war in Ukraine could ignite at any moment. US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin started a call later in the day.

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